With the Taliban making advancements in Afghanistan, Congress leader Jaiveer Shergill today wrote to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar requesting for the immediate evacuation of Hindus and Sikhs from the war-torn country.
“My love for my own people” has compelled me to take up the matter with your esteemed Office, Mr Shergill, who is also the Congress’s National Spokesperson, said as he requested the government to also provide economic security to the people of Indian-origin who have been affected by the war.
Mr Shergill said that around 650 Sikhs and 50 Hindus are stuck in Afghanistan and have become sitting targets for the Taliban “adamant to kill minorities belonging to Indian origin”.
“The numerous episodes of attacks on minorities of Indian origin, especially the recent shameful act of Taliban removing “Nishan Sahib” (Sikh holy flag) from the holy Gurdwara located in Paktia, killing of 25 Sikhs during the attack on Gurdwara Har Rai Sahib in Kabul, the suicide attack in Jalalabad on 1st July, 2018 in which 19 Sikhs and Hindus were killed are living testimony of the fact that Afghanistan is no longer a safe country for Indian origin Hindus-Sikhs,” he said in the two-page letter.
The Congress leader urged the government to consider giving special visas to the around 700 people of Indian origin as done in the year 2020.
My letter to Minister for External Affairs in personal capacity as citizen of India belonging to Sikh Community requesting Govt of India to evacuate Hindus/Sikhs from Afghan on special visa considering escalating & disturbing violence by Taliban pic.twitter.com/n4A6xOOWsg
– Jaiveer Shergill (@JaiveerShergill) August 9, 2021
“I also request that since these people have lost their livelihood, the Government of India may also provide them economic security,” he said.
The Taliban tightened the noose around northern Afghanistan Sunday, capturing three more provincial capitals as they take their fight to the cities after seizing much of the countryside in recent months.
The insurgents have snatched up five provincial capitals in Afghanistan since Friday in a lightning offensive that appears to have overwhelmed government forces.
In the eastern province of Paktia, the insurgents had removed Nishan Sahib from the roof of a Gurdwara. It was restored later after India condemned its removal.
The pace of Taliban advancement comes as the US begins the withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan. The withdrawal of foreign forces is due to be complete at the end of this month, ahead of the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the United States that sparked the invasion which toppled the Taliban.
With inputs from Reuters