Embattled Sikh and Hindu communities leave Afghanistan

Kabul, 28th September: The Sikh and Hindu communities in Afghanistan are declining rapidly, the report said

Baaghi TV: The number of Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan is declining. Thus it is shrinking to the last level. 

A report suggests that due to the growing threats posed by ISIS affiliates, many are forced to flee their homeland to escape insecurity, and the once-growing community of nearly 250 members now numbers less than 700.

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Due to discrimination in the majority Muslim country, the number of this community has been declining for years. But without their consent, the government can provide them with adequate protection.

“We can’t live here anymore,” said a member of the small community, who only gave his name as Hamdard, fearing he might be targeted for speaking out. Islamic State gunmen killed seven of his relatives, including his sister, nephew and son-in-law, in the attack that killed 25 Sikhs.

Hamdard said fleeing his homeland was as difficult as it was. Leaving a mother behind, however, she joined a group of Sikhs and Hindus who left for India last month, from where they will eventually move to a third country.

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Although Sikhism and Hinduism are two separate religions with their own holy books and places of worship, these communities are built together in Afghanistan, and they both come together for worship under the same roof or under the same temple. 

Hamdard said that after the US invasion in 2001, militants forced the house to be housed in a gurdwara of two Sikhs. Hamdard said the party had faced widespread discrimination in the conservative Muslim country. 

In the late 1990s, under Taliban rule, Sikhs and Hindus were asked to identify themselves in yellow, but the law was not enforced after a worldwide uproar. Also, the inability to reclaim Sikh homes, businesses and places of worship that were illegally occupied years ago.

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Hindu temples in the old city of Kabul were destroyed during brutal fighting between rival fighters in 1992-96. The battle defeated several Hindu and Sikh Afghans.

In addition to an attack by ISIS gunmen in March, a 2018 Islamic State suicide attack in the city of Jalalabad killed 19 people, mostly Sikhs, including a longtime leader who called himself the Afghan parliamentarian. 

A senior Sikh community leader told the Associated Press that the group was discussing with the government its security needs and repair of the temple after the temple was destroyed in the March attack. The community leader spoke on condition of anonymity because he did not have the authority to discuss the matter with the media.

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At a press conference last month, President Ashraf Ghani’s spokesman, Siddique Siddiqui, said members of the Afghan Sikh and Hindu communities would return once peace was restored. The president’s office did not respond to a request for comment from the AP, but other Afghan officials have promised to help the community.

You can read the full article from ABC News:


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