Kabul: Following outcry and condemnation, including by India, over the removal of the Nishan Sahib, a Sikh religious flag, from a gurdwara in Paktia province in eastern Afghanistan, the Taliban restored the flag at the roof of the historical gurdwara.
Singh Chandhok, President Indian World Puneet Forum, said he has been personally informed by Rahman Chamkani , the local caretaker at the Gurdwara Thala Sahib in Paktia, that the Nishan Sahib has been restored “with its proper dignity” at the roof of historical gurdwara on Friday night.
He said Taliban officials, including their forces, visited Thala Sahib on Friday evening “and conveyed their assent for functioning of the Gurdwara as per its customs and also directed that the Nishan Sahib be restored immediately in their presence”.
Conveying his gratitude, Chandhok said: “I and the diaspora deeply appreciate the efforts of the Government of India and the International Community for ensuring that the rights of minorities are well protected in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.”
The removal of the Nishan Sahib had been condemned widely, with sources in India saying, “We condemn this act and reiterate India’s firm belief that Afghanistan’s future must be one where the interest of all sections of Afghan society including minorities and women are protected.”
The Gurdwara is of historic significance as it was where Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, had visited.