PESHAWAR: The elders from the Sikh community during a jirga with the Hangu deputy commissioner on Sunday forgave the Thall assistant commissioner for asking a Sikh shopkeeper to convert and embrace Islam.
Both Deputy Commissioner Shahid Mehmood and Sardar Gorpal Singh, leading the Sikh community jirga have confirmed that the dispute which had erupted a couple of days back in Thall Town has been resolved on behalf of the government and civil administration.
According to Sardar Suhindar Singh, shopkeepers from all over Thall Town including 12 from the Sikh community had called on Ayub Khan in connection with their problems. During the discussion, the AC told Suhindar to convert.
Suhinder had objected saying that ‘it was not the right thing to do as a representative of the government’, however, Ayub went on to repeat his words and in protest, all Sikh shopkeepers boycotted the meeting. He later filed an application before Shahid Mehmood and informed the elders of the community in Peshawar.
The provincial government in response to the Sikh community ordered to suspend AC Ayub Khan. Words of the civil officer had not only resulted in a wide range unrest amongst the Sikh community but had also fueled unrest amongst other non-Muslim minorities throughout Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). The elders of the Sikh community through a press statement had shown severe concern over the attitude of the concerned civil officer and demanded necessary action against him.
Hangu DC Shahid Mehmood, sensing the gravity of the situation later contacted the elders of the Sikh community in both Peshawar and Hangu and invited them to resolve the matter through a traditional jirga.
He apologized on the behalf of the government and civil administration and it was agreed to withdraw protests and demands. The jirga was also attended by the elders of the Muslim community including representatives of different political parties.
Both Sardar Gorpal Singh and Sardar Suhindar Singh while talking to the media confirmed that the issue had been resolved and that beside the deputy commissioner, AC Ayub Khan had also regretted his words before the all the elders of their community.