Mike Pence lauds contribution of Sikh community in US, says their issues are 'close to his heart'

US vice-president Mike Pence has lauded the contribution of Sikhs in America, and asked them to continue to give back by serving in the military and public offices at local, state and federal levels

PTI June 18, 2017 11:25:54 IST
Mike Pence lauds contribution of Sikh community in US, says their issues are 'close to his heart'

Washington: US vice-president Mike Pence has lauded the contribution of Sikhs in America, and asked them to continue to give back by serving in the military and public offices at local, state and federal levels.

"The Sikh community and its issues are always close to my heart and I always admire the contribution of Sikhs in Indiana and across the US," he told a Sikh delegation in Indianapolis.

Mike Pence lauds contribution of Sikh community in US says their issues are close to his heart

Hate crimes against Sikhs have risen in recent times. Reuters

During the meeting with the Sikhs Political Action Committee (SikhsPAC) led by Gurinder Singh Khalsa, Pence said that he was fully aware of Sikh awareness issues since his days as governor, a SikhsPAC media release said.

The main topic of discussion with the delegation was Sikh awareness and introduction of Sikh history in public history curriculum through federal department of education. Pence also admired the efforts of SikhsPAC for encouraging the Sikh community for its participation in the mainstream politics, the statement said.

During the meeting, Pence reaffirmed his commitment to the Sikh community and encouraged it to continue to give back in the form of serving in the military and public offices at local, state and federal levels, it said.

Early this week, Khalsa visited Washington DC and met about two dozen US Senators and Congressmen. He also attended US Global Leadership Collision where about 500 world faith leaders, veterans and elected leaders participated to influence the American foreign aid policies.

Pence was the first siting governor who attended the Sikh parade, and bestowed the highest civil award to a Sikh in 2015. The US state of Indiana has passed a resolution recognising Sikhs' "significant contributions" to America.

However, hate-crime incidents against Sikhs have seen a spurt in America recently. A 39-year-old Sikh man was shot in the arm outside his home in Kent, Washington in March by a partially-masked gunman who shouted "go back to your own country".

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