Kabul/New Delhi: Anxious about their safety in the wake of the vandalisation of the Gurdwara Karte Parwan in Kabul by suspected Taliban militants and the deadly explosion targeting a Shiite mosque in Kunduz, Afghan Hindus and Sikhs on Saturday appealed to the Indian government for their immediate evacuation.
The council of Afghan Hindus and Sikhs held a meeting at the Gurdwara on Saturday, which also saw the participation by Indian citizens in Afghanistan. They discussed the vandalisation of the gurdwara by “unidentified forces” and the nefarious attack on the Shiite mosque in the northern city of Kunduz on Friday in which many innocent Afghans belonging to the Hazara community were killed.
The council “demanded fool-proof investigation and accountability” from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan on the vandalisation of the Gurdwara and also condemned the brutal killings of the Shiite worshipers on Friday in Kunduz.
They also requested the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to ensure the protection of their rights and their wellbeing as per the UN Charter.
The Council appealed to the Government of India to consider and facilitate the evacuation of all from the violence-hit Islamic nation at the earliest.
Around 200 members of the Hindu and Sikh community participated in the meeting.
The meeting was chaired by Ram Sharan Singh, President of Management Committee for Aasamai Mandir, Kabul, co-chaired by Gurnam Singh, President of Management Committee for Gurdwara Karte Parwan, Kabul, and moderated by Satvir Singh, Head Granthi of Gurdwara Karte Parwan, Kabul.
On October 5, a group of heavily armed men, resembling the Taliban militia in appearance, entered the Gurdwara Karte Parwan in Kabul, tied up the three guards there, rummaging through the cupboards of the gurdwara office and left after smashing some CCTV cameras.
Though the footage from the CCTV cameras has been handed over to the local Taliban authorities, there has been no forward movement in identifying the armed men who vandalised the gurdwara.
Puneet Singh Chandhok, President Indian World Forum, on Saturday reiterated his appeal to the Indian government for the immediate evacuation of the Indians and Afghan Hindus and Sikhs in Kabul.
“I once again appeal the leadership of PM Modi to consider and facilitate the immediate evacuation of all the stranded Indians and Afghan Hindu and Sikhs at the earliest.”
He said an Iranian airline is operating in Kabul and the Indian government could seek assistance in the issuance of transit visas to them.
“An Iranian Airline Mahan Air is operating flights to Kabul for a month now and considering our bilateral ties with Iran, the Government of India may kindly explore and seek assistance from them in the issuance of transit visas to the stranded Indians and Afghan Hindu & Sikhs and use their carrier for smooth evacuation.
“The Government must act fast before the Hindus and Sikhs in Afghanistan again become victim of militants as their future it is uncertain,” he added.
India has said it is concerned over the reports of vandalisation of the gurudwara and the praise showered by senior Afghan Taliban leader Anas Haqqani on 11th century Turkic Muslim invader Mahmud Ghazni for having “smashed the idol of Somnath”.
“The reports of vandalism and intolerance obviously raise concerns not just for us, but across the world, and it’s very important we feel that the international community continues to insist on the fulfilment of the goals outlined in the UNSC resolution 2593,” the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson said on Thursday.
He said the UNSC resolution 2593, tabled during India’s presidency in August, “articulates and guides the collective approach of the global community towards Afghanistan”.