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Sikhs from Afghanistan seek evacuation due to threats by IS

05 Apr 2020 Salam Watandar

MONITORING (SW) – Hundreds of Sikhs from Afghanistan have written to the Indian government seeking “immediate evacuation” citing a threat to their lives from the Islamic State (IS).

According to both letters, copies of which are with The Indian Express, at least 650 Sikhs from Afghanistan are seeking immediate evacuation, claiming they are still getting threat calls to either leave the country or face consequences.

A representative of the Sikh community from Kabul told The Indian Express that there are just 650-700 Sikhs (around 80-90 families) left in Afghanistan. “No one wants to live here now because they want safety for their children at least. Hence we have made a collective appeal because everyone wants to leave…,” he said.

He added that 364 Sikhs from Kabul, 168 from Jalalabad and 80 others from Gazni of Afghanistan have approached the Indian Embassy in Kabul seeking immediate visas. Around 25-30 also do not have passports and are trying to get them issued, he added.

The letter adds that Sikhs were in touch with Indian Ambassador in Kabul Vinay Kumar to get travel or exit visas to India and that they had been assured of a response by April 1, but that “progress has been stalled”.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Gurnam Singh, president of Gurdwara Dashmesh Darbar Karte Parwan, said, “No Sikh or Hindu family wants to live in Afghanistan anymore. Our MP Narinder Singh Khalsa has also been communicated by all families that they do not want to stay back anymore. We are in touch with the embassy but due to Coronavirus, they say visas cannot be processed nor are there any flights, but we are requesting India to run some special charter flights and evacuate us. There can be another attack anytime…”


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