On 5 January, India issued a strong statement terming the incident a “targeted killing of a minority Sikh community member” while Pakistan accused Delhi of politicising the issue to divert global attention away from “atrocities” that have been carried out in Kashmir since the latter revoked its special status in August 2019.

Blaming a recently murdered Sikh youth’s fiancé for orchestrating his killing, Peshawar police in Pakistan claimed to have resolved a case that had turned into a major diplomatic issue between New Delhi and Islamabad.

Ravinder Singh, s 25-year-old Sikh man from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province’s Shangla district, was found dead in Peshawar on Sunday.

The Indian Foreign Ministry summoned the Pakistani envoy in New Delhi earlier this week, claiming that the murder was a religiously motivated “target killing”.

Citing a senior security official, local Pakistani media has now reported it was a “contract killing” paid for by Ravinder’s fiancé, Prem Kumari, who didn’t want to marry him.

“She promised the hitmen 700,000 Pakistan rupees ($4,520) for Ravinder’s murder… Part of the committed money was paid in advance, while the rest had to be paid after the murder", the official reportedly claimed.

On 5 January, India issued a strong statement and called upon the Pakistani government to stop prevaricating and instead take immediate action to apprehend the culprits and severly punish the perpetrators of these heinous acts.

Two days later, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry categorically rejected the allegation and summoned the Indian envoy to convey the same. It deemed the allegation mischievous and part of desperate attempts to “divert attention from the continuing state terrorism in the Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir”.