26 October, 2020

History's Hostages

Held to a huge ransom by the Taliban, NWFP's Sikhs have nowhere to go

History's Hostages
Jazia And Sikhs
  • In Orakzai, Taliban have imposed a sum of Rs 12 million as jazia on Sikhs
  • Contrary to media reports, the amount is not paid yet. Sikh families remain in the custody of Taliban.
  • In medieval times, jazia was levied on non-Muslims in an Islamic state
  • Those who paid jazia could follow their religion, provided protection
  • Since Muslims paid zakat or alms for the poor to the state, which was spent on welfare, non-Muslims had to contribute their share through jazia
  • But jazia was unpopular. Akbar removed it; Aurangzeb reimposed it.


Decades before the cartographer sliced the subcontinent into Pakistan and India, ancestors of Kalyan Singh demonstrated the wanderlust typical of the Sikh community. They settled down in the green, picturesque Ferozkhel valley of Orakzai, one of the seven autonomous agencies which together comprise what is now called the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA). In his...


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