Image Credits: Republic
Amidst the crisis in Afghanistan, Sikhs in Kabul have reopened their shops in the market amid the Taliban's siege. The development comes after the Taliban assured them of safety on Monday. The Sikh community members had earlier taken shelter at the Parwan Gurdwara in Kabul. However, visuals accessed by Republic TV show that Sikh-owned businesses and markets are now functioning in the capital that was overrun by the Taliban on Sunday.
As per the visuals, Sikh shopkeepers can be seen at their stalls in the market, even as a heavy Taliban presence can be seen. Earlier on Monday, the Taliban leaders had met the Sikh communities and assured them of their safety.
According to Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, there are more than 320 Hindus and Sikhs in Afghanistan. The Union Minister had also informed that the Centre is working to ensure their safe return to India. Moreover, a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs on Monday also mentioned efforts to repatriate minorities and Hindus in Afghanistan. This comes after the visuals of the Sikh community taking shelter at the Parwan Gurdwara emerged. Hardeep Singh Puri had also announced that he was in touch with the Sikh community in Kabul.
"I am in constant touch with President, Gurdwara Committee of Kabul and the Sangat who have told me that 320+ people of minorities (including 50 Hindus and 270+ Sikhs) have taken refuge in Karte Parwan Gurdwara in Kabul in wake of recent developments. Taliban Leaders have met them and assured them of their safety. We are hopeful that Hindus and Sikhs would be able to live a safe/secure life despite political & military changes happening in Afghanistan." he said
After days of the offensive, the Taliban captured Kabul prompting the Government of Afghanistan to surrender to the insurgents. In addition, the Ashraf Ghani-led government fled the country as the Taliban took over after infiltrating the borders of the country's capital Kabul. Since then, chaos has erupted as people are heading towards Kabul's Hamiz Karzai International Airpot with hopes of being evacuated.