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'Help us reunite with our families in Delhi,' Afghan Sikhs and Hindus urge Indian govt – Times of India


AMRITSAR: Sikhs and Hindus living in Kabul and Jalalabad cities of Afghanistan held separate meetings in gurdwaras on Friday to contemplate their future plans in wake of their stalled businesses, joblessness, and inflation under the new Taliban regime in the country even as they continue to perform religious services in their places of worship.
According to sources separate meetings were held at gurdwara Kart-e-Paarwan, Kabul, and gurdwara Nanak Darbar, Jalalabad, following which the Sikhs and Hindus of Afghanistan issued appeals on social media urging the Indian government and religious leadership to arrange for their evacuation at the earliest so they could be with their remaining family members, mostly living in Delhi.
In one of the videos, an elderly Sikh man is heard appealing to the Indian government and Sikh leadership to come to their rescue. He says that male heads of as many as 40 families were living in Kabul and their family members including their elders and children were living in Delhi on refugee status.
“We used to often come to Afghanistan to do businesses or labor work but the situation in Afghanistan has changed beyond our expectation since August 15 (when Taliban took control of the country) and we are unable to travel back to India, some of our family members are sick in Delhi and we need to be with them at the earliest,” said an elderly Sikh Afghan national.
In another video, a Sikh from Jalalabad says that after the cancellation of their visas by the Indian government, they had applied for e-visas but they were still awaiting visa issuances. He said they had urged the Indian government as well as Indian Sikh leadership to help them so they could return to India and join their families.
TOI talked to a Sikh leader of Kabul who, on condition of anonymity, informed that there were around 210 Sikh and Hindu men, women, and children in Afghanistan who wanted to fly to India as soon as possible.
“We don’t have businesses, there are no jobs, we are scared to live especially after armed men storming the gurdwara in recent past and abduction of a member of minority community, we wish India government issues e-visas to us so we could fly to Delhi via Iran,” he said.
Meanwhile, in another video, a group of Sikhs is seen installing nishan sahib at gurdwara Har Rai Sahib, Kabul. The Sikh leader of Kabul informed that they had replaced the old nishan sahib with the new one adding that a few Sikhs who didn’t have any relatives in India would stay back in Afghanistan to continue to perform the daily religious services.

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