Screengrab of the tweet put up by Radesh Singh Tony.
Screengrab of the tweet put up by Radesh Singh Tony.

Sikh leader forced to flee Pakistan following threats

ANI | Updated: Jan 23, 2020 08:59 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan 23 (ANI): Pakistani Sikh politician Radesh Singh Tony was forced to flee Pakistan after he received threats and was tortured by some unidentified people last month.
Narrating out atrocities faced by Tony, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Manjinder S Sirsa said, "Radesh Singh Tony, who had contested the 2018 general elections in Pakistan from Peshawar as an independent candidate, was allegedly tortured by some unidentified people last month. He is receiving threats & is forced to leave the country".
On Wednesday, Tony himself has also released a video statement from an unverified Twitter account and where he could be seen appealing to the Sikh community to help him and his family and take them out to "some safe place".
Tony asserted that he is still receiving life threats from Pakistan and is concerned about the safe future of his family.
Tony's twitter bio reads: "Loves Humanity #PEACE Ambassador Human Rights Activist and want to see my country economically strong and stable Without Terrorism Highly Educated Citizens."
"I appeal to my Sikh Community those who are abroad, Please help me and my family and take me out to some safe place at this world," Tony tweeted along with a video on Wednesday.

In the 45-second video, he can be heard saying: "...My life was in danger. So, all I could do for my children was to protect their future. I want to see my family safe and sound. Right now, I am getting such calls from Pakistan...which I am not picking troubling me...I should be (helped) to get rid of it."
The tweet was re-tweeted by Zar Ali Khan Afridi, a 'Human Rights Defender working in FATA' in Pakistan.
"Radesh Tony a known Human Rights Defender from Peshawar needs to be safe. He is at the highest risk. He and his family must be protected. Pakistani state operatives are killing him," tweeted Afridi.
Tony had contested the 2018 General election from Peshawar's PK-75 constituency as an independent candidate.
As per the Dawn report, the PK-75 candidate was a "prominent member of the local Sikh community and the president of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Pakistan Minorities Alliance."
This is not the first time that incidents like this have come to fore. Last year, a former MLA from Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Baldev Kumar, had sought asylum in India along with his family following the atrocities by the government.
Islamabad is discriminating against its religious minorities, which is manifested in various forms of targeted violence, mass murders, extrajudicial killings, abduction, rapes, forced conversion to Islam, etc., making the Pakistani Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Ahmadiyyas, and Shias, one of the most persecuted minorities in the region. (ANI)