Image: Hardeep Puri/Twitter
Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri reached Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport on Tuesday morning to welcome back the stranded Indians who had been evacuated from Afghanistan. An Air India flight safely brought back 78 passengers including 46 Afghanistan Sikhs and Hindus to New Delhi on Tuesday. These passengers were first flown in from Kabul to Tajikistan on an Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft.
Visuals of the Sikh community members taking shelter at Parwan Gurdwara in Kabul had emerged amidst the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan. The Sikhs who had taken shelter in a Gurudwara in Kabul also brought along with them the three swaroops of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Hardeep Puri was seen carrying the swaroops of the Guru Granth Sahib on his head. Puri along with MoS MEA V Muraleedharan and other officials made their way out of the plane and the Delhi airport barefooted, with the Guru Granth Sahib on their heads.
ਵਾਹੁ ਵਾਹੁ ਬਾਣੀ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ਹੈ— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) August 24, 2021
ਤਿਸੁ ਜੇਵਡੁ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਕੋਇ ।।
Blessed to receive & pay obeisance to three holy Swaroop of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji from Kabul to Delhi a short while ago.@narendramodi @AmitShah @MEAIndia pic.twitter.com/91iX91hfR7
After safely carrying the Guru Granth Sahib, Hardeep Singh Puri said that he was 'privileged' to have served the three holy forms on their arrival in India. He also assured the return of the remaining people from Afghanistan. "I want to start by thanking PM who made it possible to carry out these rescue ops to bring our brethren who are in difficult circumstances there (Afghanistan). It was a rescue operation to save our brothers and sisters. Arrangements also being put in place for the remaining people. We're in constant touch with them," he said.
"The evacuees have been RT-PCR tested, in a few hours they will make their way and a warm welcome awaits them. Our BJP workers are here to welcome everyone. We have had the tradition of welcoming our brothers from the neighbourhood. And today that has been manifested into reality," he added.
Meanwhile, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) thanked PM Modi and the Indian government for safely bringing back stranded Indians from Afghanistan. SAD leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa however urged the Centre to make amendments to the CAA to accommodate those who had arrived from the war-torn nation.
"I feel grateful. Our guru grant sahib ji and our people who were terrorised have come. It is a big relief for us. We also now appeal that in CAA, we bring some amendments, extend the CAA from 2014 to 2021 to accommodate those who have come from Afghanistan. I thank our Prime Minister, Home Minister and all those people who supported them in these difficult times," Sirsa told Republic TV.