The government on Wednesday termed the beheading of a Sikh in Pakistan a matter of “deep and serious concern” and asserted that the issue was being taken up appropriately with Pakistan.

“Barbaric and heinous crime”

Making a suo motu statement in the Lok Sabha on the beheading, External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna said: “I rise to strongly condemn the beheading of Sardar Jaspal Singh in the tribal areas of Pakistan. This barbaric and heinous crime is deplorable in the strongest possible terms. This incident of kidnapping and killing of Sikhs in Pakistan is a matter of deep and serious concern to the government, and is being taken up appropriately with the government of Pakistan.”

“Take stern action”

Mr. Krishna said the Pakistan President had strongly condemned the incident and asked the authorities to investigate and take stern action against the kidnappers in accordance with the law.

“He has also directed that effective measures be taken to stop the recurrence of such incidents,” Mr. Krishna said adding that the abductors, reportedly the Taliban, committed the crime when Singh’s family was not able to pay a ransom.

“The President of Pakistan has also directed the authorities to take swift action for the release of a Hindu, kidnapped on February 19, by unknown persons,” the Minister said. He laid in the Rajya Sabha an identical copy of the statement.

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