New Delhi: Congress leader Jaiveer Shergill urged the Union government to evacuate Hindus and Sikhs from Afghanistan. He has written a letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar requesting an immediate intervention in the matter.
‘I am writing this as a responsible Indian citizen belonging to Sikh Community. My love for my own people (i.e., people of Indian origin) has compelled me to take up the matter with your esteemed Office for your kind consideration’, said the Congress leader.
‘As you are more than aware, the Taliban offensive has escalated in Afghanistan, post-US withdrawal of troops, and they are fighting at gun point to turn the country, once again into a hub for transnational terrorism’, Shergill said .
‘The current catastrophic trajectory of violence has caused a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, thus, risking the lives of the people, including those from India. In this regard, I would like to draw your kind attention that, as per information available in the public domain, around 650 Sikhs and 50 Hindus are stuck in Afghanistan and have become sitting targets for the Taliban adamant to kill minorities belonging to Indian origin’, he said .
The Congress leader also cited several instances of attacks on minorities of Indian origin . ‘The numerous episodes of attacks on minorities of Indian origin, especially the recent shameful act of Taliban removing “Nishan Sahib” from the holy Gurudwara located in Chamkani Area of Paktia, killing of 25 Sikhs during attack on Gurudwara liar Rai Sahib in Kabul the suicide attack in Jalalabad on 1st July, 2018 in which 19 Sikhs and Hindus were killed are living testimony of the fact that Afghanistan is no longer a safe country for Indian origin Hindu/Sikhs’, said Shergil .
‘These people, fearing for their lives, have appealed to the Government of India for their immediate evacuation’, he said.
‘In this regard, I most humbly request you that Government of India may kindly consider giving special visas to the around 700 Sikhs and Hindus stuck in violence and strife struck Afghanistan and evacuate them (on consent basis) immediately on similar pattern as done in year 2020. I also request that since these people have lost their livelihood, the Government of India may also provide them economic security. I am sure you will use your good office for immediate necessary action in this regard, in the interest of lives and livelihood of these people’, he said .