Congress leader Jaiveer Shergill (File Photo/ANI)
Congress leader Jaiveer Shergill (File Photo/ANI)

Congress leader Jaiveer Shergill urges Jaishankar for evacuation of Hindus, Sikhs from Afghanistan

ANI | Updated: Aug 09, 2021 12:34 IST

New Delhi [India], August 9 (ANI): Congress leader Jaiveer Shergill on Monday urged the Centre for an immediate evacuation of Hindus and Sikhs from Afghanistan on special visas considering escalating violence by the Taliban.
In a letter to Minister for External Affairs S Jaishankar, in his "personal capacity as citizen of India belonging to Sikh Community," Shergill requested the Government of India to evacuate Hindus and Sikhs due to danger to their lives.
"I am writing this as a responsible Indian citizen belonging to Sikh Community. My love for my own people (i.e., people of Indian origin) has compelled me to take up the matter with your esteemed Office for your kind consideration," said the Congress leader.
He noted, "the Taliban offensive has escalated in Afghanistan, post-US withdrawal of troops, "and they are fighting, at the gunpoint, to turn the country, once again, into a hub for transnational terrorism."
"The current catastrophic trajectory of violence has caused a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, thus, risking the lives of the people, including from India. In this regard, I would like to draw your kind attention that, as per information available in the public domain, 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," he stated.

He said that numerous episodes of attacks on minorities of Indian origin, especially "the recent shameful act of Taliban removing "Nishan Sahib" from the holy Gurudwara located in Chamkani Area of Paktia, killing of 25 Sikhs during an attack on Gurudwara Har Rai Sahib in Kabul, the suicide attack in Jalalabad on July 1, 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 Hindu/Sikhs."
Shergill noted that fearing for their lives, minorities of Indian origin have appealed to the Government of India for their immediate evacuation.
"In this regard, I most humbly request you that the Government of India may kindly consider giving special visas to the around 700 Sikhs and Hindus stuck in violence and strife struck Afghanistan and evacuate them (on consent basis) immediately on the similar pattern as done in the year 2020," the Congress leader urged.
He also requested that since these people have lost their livelihood, the Government of India may also provide them economic security.
"I am sure you will use your good office for immediate necessary action in this regard, in the interest of lives and livelihood of these people," he added. (ANI)