In Memory of Satnam Singh
This is a day the Sikh diaspora knows too well now, another member of our sangat has been killed. This article is written in honor of Satnam Singh.
On September 30th Satnam Singh, a medical practitioner working in Peshawar, Pakistan, was shot to death in his clinic by unknown gunmen. Reports say that multiple gunmen barged into Mr. Singh's clinic, opened fire, and then left quickly once Mr. Singh died. Mr. Singh was shot four times, and succumbed to his wounds almost immediately. Satnam Singh worked to maintain his own health clinic, named Dharmandar Pharmacy. He was known to be a prominent figure amongst the 15,000 Sikhs living in Peshawar and had lived there for over twenty years with his wife and children.
While the police have not been able to catch or name the unknown gunmen, the Islamic State’s Afghanistan affiliate (ISIS-K) have taken responsibility for this grotesque act of violence. This is the same organization which, not six days ago, killed 183 people (170 Afghan individuals and 13 US military personnel) in horrific suicide bombing in the Kabul airport. This is also sadly not the first time a Sikh has been killed mercilessly in Pakistan. There have been countless cases in the past decade which highlight the never-ending assassinations, massacres, and brutal murdered of Sikhs and other minorities in Pakistan. In 2016 the Pakistani Sikh doctor, assembly member, TV anchor, and Sikh activist was murdered as part of a targeted political assignation in front of his home in Peshawar. In 2018 Charanjit Singh, a Sikh activist and member of his community was killed by unknown gunmen, again in Peshawar. Most recently in 2020, Ravinder Singh, a news channel anchor was gunned down by unknown men in Peshawar. These are just a few of the many atrocities faced by Sikh's living in Pakistan. These are only three cases, all taking place in one city. Imagine how the number of Sikh fatalities groups as one begins to include the other 200 cities in Pakistan.
With over 20,000 Sikhs currently living in Pakistan, one must ask - who will protect this Sikh community? With death tolls and extremist attacks rising, it is imperative we answer this question. As a member of the Sikh community, I firmly believe the answer is - us. We as the Sikh diaspora, we as the Sikh community, we as the Sikh people must band together to help the men, women, and children of our sangat. Thousands of families are currently living in fear of prosecution and execution by extremist organizations, such as ISIS-K. It is our duty to ensure that what happened to Satnam Singh, Ravinder Singh, and many others is the last. We must do everything in our power to support and aid the Sikh community in Pakistan, and make sure this never happens again. Please take this moment to remember Satnam Singh. His death leaves five children and his wife grieving, heartbroken, and alone. Please consider donating to organizations and charities who are trying to help minorities suffering in Pakistan. Thank you.
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