The Afghan Sikh Community settled in the United States has requested the Government of India to rescue their fellow community members that are severely affected by the violence in Afghanistan. Worried for the lives of nearly 650 families living in Kabul, Jalalabad, and Ghazi in Afghanistan, this minuscule Sikh community is seeking refuge in India.
Motivated by the recent decisions made by the Indian Government, the Afghan Sikh community leaders made an appeal to India. They have urged the GoI to accommodate the Sikhs and Hindus from Afghanistan and grant them legal entry and political asylum in India. They also appealed for long term residency and multiple entry visas.
Speaking to ANI, Afghan American Paramjit Singh Bedi, Chairman of Afghanistan Committee for Global Sikh Council, said, "At a time when the attention is focused on the coronavirus pandemic and India is under lockdown, we understand India's worry but I still urge GoI to take quick action as we fear the safety of the Sikhs living in Afghanistan."
Bedi further requested the Government led by Prime Minister Modi to arrange a special flight from Kabul and to intervene on their behalf before it's too late.
The Afghan Sikh leader also highlighted the terror attack by ISIS on March 25 that killed 25 Sikhs at their gurdwara in Kabul.
"The victims included women, the elderly, and a four-year-old girl. They had gathered to pray that morning for the health and recovery of people afflicted with COVID-19, but their lives were cut short by religious bigotry," Bedi said, recalling the tragic terror attack.
Meanwhile, Indian Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu has expressed solidarity with the Sikh community of Afghanistan.
India has always stood in solidarity with the Sikh and Hindu community in Afghanistan and extended help and refuge in difficult circumstances. https://t.co/VWDAOJItU7— Taranjit Singh Sandhu (@SandhuTaranjitS) April 18, 2020