Sikh24.com – Persecuted Afghan Sikhs quit gurdwara Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji amid continuous threats

Chandigarh – Punjab – India, 31 March 2020. The Kabul resident Sikh families have left Gurdwara Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib situated in Shor Bazaar due to continuous threats being sent by the terrorist organizations. All these Sikh families have shifted to Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha situated in Karta-e-Parwan.

It is pertinent to note here that these families were looking after the day-to-day proceedings of Gurdwara Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji for a long time while living there.

Sharing with Sikh24, the Afghan Sikhs informed that they were looking after the historic Gurdwara Sahibans situated in Kabul, Jalalabad, Kandhar, Karta-e-Parwan and Ghazni despite getting looted and murdered in routine since long.

“But now, it has become difficult for us to stay here as we are continually facing deadly attacks and threats by the terrorists,” they said while adding that no one is left in Afghanistan to look after their interests.

It may be recalled here that the Islamic State had murdered more than two dozen Sikhs in a suicidal attack carried out on March 25. Eight others had also lost lives in this deadly attack while eight others were left seriously injured.

https://www.sikh24.com/2020/03/31/persecuted-afghan-sikhs-quit-gurdwara-sri-guru-har-rai-sahib-ji-amid-continuous-threats/#.XoNB7nJS_IU

Hindustan Times – Malaysia airlifts 180 citizens stranded in Amritsar

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 31 March 2020. About 180 Malaysians who were stranded in the Holy City after India banned international flights following the Covid-19 outbreak flew back home in a special Malindo Air aircraft from the Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport here on Monday.

All were of Indian origin and had come to Amritsar to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple (Harmandr Sahib). They also visited their native villages in Punjab, besides other tourist destinations across the country.

Delighted to be returning to their country, many of them chanted “Sat Sri Akal” while leaving their hotel for the airport to thank God for the efforts to rescue them.

They also had a word of praise for Baldev Singh, a prominent Indian settled in Malaysia, who runs Sri Saheb Production House there, for tying up with the government there to arrange for the flight.

Airport director Manoj Chansoria said the flight took off at 2.40pm on Monday for Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia.

60-year-old Malaysian tourist Gurbachan Singh said: “We landed in Amritsar on March 7 and were scheduled to return on March 21, but our flight was cancelled. Punjab Police, civil administration and local Sikh institutions helped us a lot.”

“This is my first visit to India. Though I am Malaysia-born, my roots are in Punjab. We have no words to express our happiness. First we got an opportunity to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple. Now, we are returning to home where we will be able to put ourselves under self-quarantine,” said Jatinder Singh, a 25-year-old youth.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/malaysia-airlifts-180-citizens-stranded-in-amritsar/story-QhbEy5LHXaKiZbERVuDXzI.html

The Tribune – Bodies of three Sikhs killed in Kabul attack to be brought to India on Monday: Harsimrat Kaur

Urges PM to facilitate relocation of Afghan Sikhs who want to settle in India

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 29 March 2020. Union food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Sunday said bodies of three Sikhs killed in the Kabul gurdwara attack, whose families were based in India, would be brought back to the country on Monday.

She also appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take steps to facilitate the relocation of all Afghan Sikhs who wanted to leave Afghanistan and settle in India.

In a statement here, Harsimrat said the bodies of three Sikhs were being brought back to India tomorrow. He said while the families of two, Shankar Singh and Jiwan Singh were based in Ludhiana, the third Tian Singh’s family was based in Delhi.

She said while Shankar’s wife would also return with her husband’s body to Ludhiana where his six children were residing with their maternal grandparents, Jiwan’s wife and children were living in Ludhiana.

The Union minister has appealed to the Prime Minister to initiate an exercise to relocate all Afghan Sikhs who wanted to leave Afghanistan due to growing insecurity and threats to their very lives and livelihood.

She said from a population of several thousands, only around 300 to 400 Sikh families remained in Afghanistan with thousands migrating to India and elsewhere in the last more than one decade.

She also appealed to the Prime Minister to take up the issue of the safety and security of the Sikh community in Afghanistan with the latter government. “Sikhs in Afghanistan are undergoing a trauma. They are facing threats on a day to day basis.

Earlier also there have been gruesome attacks on its members including a terrorist attack in 2018 while killed 13 persons in Jalalabad. Many want to leave Afghanistan and relocate in India. This relocation should be facilitated at the earliest,” he added.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/bodies-of-3-sikhs-killed-in-kabul-attack-to-be-brought-to-india-on-monday-harsimrat-62808

Hindustan Times – Golden Temple (Harmandr Sahib) offers hope for humanity in times of corona-virus

Upholding maryada devotees, in fewer numbers due to the curfew, join the keepers of the faith to ensure dawn-to-dusk rituals are carried out uninterrupted at the holiest shrine of the Sikhs

Surjit Singh

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 30 March 2020. ‘Tu kahe doleh parania, tudh rakhega sirjanhar (Don’t lose heart, O man, you will be defended and taken care of by God, the Creator of everything)’.

The reassuring shabad at the Golden Temple is apt in these troubled times of the corona-virus disease.

The holiest shrine of the Sikhs may be seeing far fewer devotees due to the curfew to ensure social distancing, but the age-old maryada and dawn-to-dusk rituals of parkash, kirtan and sukhasan, traditions that were interrupted only during Operations Bluestar (1984) and Black Thunder (1986) in living memory, are being followed religiously.

Hymns reverberate in the precincts, and far beyond, through the live telecast that is now providing spiritual solace to devotees holed up in their homes the world over.

Keepers of the faith, including raagis and sewadars, begin their day as early as 2am for the amrit vela (the pre-dawn) ceremony that starts with the opening of kiwars (doors of darshani deori). Despite the curfew, about 100 devotees recite prayers followed by kirtan of Asa di Vaar, a hymn by Guru Nanak.

“It is a daily ritual to be here, even in the curfew,” says Tarundeep Singh, a youngster who lives nearby, and is adept at blowing the narsinga (a traditional wind instrument) while the Palki Sahib (golden palanquin) carries the holy saroop of Guru Granth Sahib.

Normally, about 3,000 devotees watch the proceedings, says Giani Maan Singh, a granthi (priest*). “Now the sangat comes daily but only in the required number so as to uphold the maryada,” he says.

Faith comes first

The kirtan by hazoori raagis (regular Gurbani exponents) are telecast live throughout the day on social media ever since the curfew came into effect last week.

Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) sewadars and half the devotees wear masks in the parikarma of the shrine but not in the sanctum sanctorum.

“No devotee is prohibited from wearing masks inside the sanctum sanctorum, but it is against the maryada for granthis. They keep a ‘hajuria’ (a piece of cloth) around their neck to ensure cleanliness,” says Gobind Singh Lonogwal, the president of the SGPC that manages affairs of the shrine and has scaled down its staff to 30%.

The sangat continues to drink jal (water) from the holy sarovar, while the Akhand Path (48-hour, non-stop recitation of Guru Granth Sahib) continues as usual.

Devotees happily accept the karah parshad offered by the sewadar on their exit from Darbar Sahib. It is prepared according to the footfall of the sangat. “As usual, the first deg (offering) goes to the sanctum sanctorum at 1.30am.

As a limited sangat comes, only five cans of 15-kg desi ghee is consumed to prepare the parshad in a day. During a normal day, 40 cans would be consumed, while on special days such as gurpurbs, the consumption goes up to 75 cans,” says Kulwant Singh, a cook at the shrine’s kitchen.

Eat, Pray, Serve

The coronavirus curfew has not been able to halt the operation of Guru Ram Das Langar Ghar, the largest community kitchen, where food is served free of cost. The service continues round the clock.

“The devotees come to do seva even when there is no relaxation in curfew,” says Harjit Singh, an SGPC employee overseeing the langar operation.

Gurmeet Singh, 25, from Koom Kalan in Ludhiana district who came along with a friend to do seva a week ago, says, “I recovered from an accident and wanted to express my gratitude by doing seva. The curfew has given us a golden opportunity to spend more time and serve in the Guru’s abode.”

*There are no priests in Sikhi, the Granthi is more like a protestant minister, who also is not a mediator between God and mankind
Man-in-Blue

https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/golden-temple-offers-hope-for-humanity-in-times-of-coronavirus/story-QHaovKK9NhpCDlARU55eBN.html

The Indian Express – Serving over 10k meals a day, Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib’s kitchen runs short of wheat

It is for the first time in four decades that the gurdwara management has sought help from the government to meet the need for supplies to its kitchen.

Divya Goyal

Ludhiana – Panjab – India, 29 March 2020. Not once in its 90-year existence did Ludhiana’s Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib run out of wheat flour for its langar kitchen.

But as it serves over 10,000 meals daily amid the lockdown, the gurdwara is running short of wheat supplies to keep serving parshadas (rotis) to those who turn up for langar and those who look forward to packed meals from its langar kitchen in these unprecedented times due to corona-virus.

It is also for the first time in four decades that the gurdwara management has sought help from the government to meet the need for supplies to its kitchen.

But while people, migrants, daily-wagers and the homeless, continue to show up, Punjab government’s Department of Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs is yet to respond to gurdwara management’s request for wheat bags.

In the meantime, the management has arranged a few tonnes of wheat, but it fears that the stock won’t last long given the surge in demand for langar during lockdown.

Apart from serving langar at the gurdwara, food packets are being supplied by the shrine 24×7.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Prithpal Singh (65), president, Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib, said: “Langar is the most valuable element of our Punjabi culture and Sikhism.

People and faiths across the globe admire us for langar because in Punjab no one sleeps empty-stomach. Our langar kitchen has been serving 10,000 meals a day at least since always, and now after the curfew, even as the people coming to langar hall has decreased, the demand for packed meals is increasing.”

He added: “We are supplying at least 6,000 meals of packed food a day (twice a day) and then another 5,000 meals (twice a day) are being served to homeless and poor people, mostly migrants, who are still coming to have food.

It was for the first time that we ran short of wheat and we approached the food supplies minister. But they have failed to deliver wheat bags. It was disappointing as well as heartbreaking.”

Gurdwara president said that they are ready to supply double the capacity of food packets, but for that they need wheat. “I personally called Food Supplies Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu and asked for help apprising him of entire situation. We have always paid and bought grocery for langar.

Even now we were ready to pay to government also but the department did not deliver us wheat bags. At last, we have arranged some stock on our own through arthiyas (commission agents) but we do not know how long it will last,” he said.

Temporarily, the gurdwara has now arranged 23 tonnes of wheat from arthiyas paying Rs 21,085 per tonne but seeing that demand for meals has been increasing with 2-2.5 tonnes being consumed each day, it might last for next 7-10 days or less.

“It all depends on how many food packets are delivered apart from sangat still visiting langar hall. At least 5,000 (twice a day) are still coming to gurdwara to have food, mostly daily wagers and migrants. We cannot deny food to anyone. We are also supplying food to temples and mosques.

Assi ajj tak kisi aggey hath ni failaaya, sarkar agge vi ni (We have never begged for anything from government or otherwise) but if langar kitchen is expected to deliver cooked food, we need raw material for that. We are even ready to pay for it but the department failed to arrange wheat for us on priority.

We did it on our own,” said Prithpal Singh. He added that there was enough stock for dal (pulses) and vegetables are being brought on daily basis but all they need is wheat flour.

“This situation would have been avoided had our wheat crop on 40 acres of land owned by gurdwara had not been damaged due to untimely rains or if some time was given to prepare for curfew instead of sudden announcement,” he said.

The kitchen at gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib, among the largest in Punjab, serves meals (dal, roti and vegetables) to at least 10,000 persons apart from tea-snacks langar (once a day). The kitchen has capacity to produce 4,500 rotis in an hour. “We can arrange another roti making machine and double up the capacity.

But we need at least 30 tonnes of wheat more for lockdown till 14 April. People are coming to ask for food packets. Today also food was supplied in Haibowal and Dugri areas,” said Pithpal Singh, who has been a sewadar at the gurdwara for over 34 years.

When contacted, Arvinder Sandhu, Inspector, Food & Civil Supplies Department, said: “There were some issues such as transportation and scarcity of wheat and we have informed higher officials about wheat shortage being faced by gurdwara. District Food Supplies Controller will be the right person to comment on it.”

Sukhwinder Singh Gill, District Food Supplies Controller, said that wheat stock lying with them belongs to central government and for that they have to get permission from Food Corporation of India (FCI) to supply it to the gurdwara.

“We cannot issue wheat bags to anyone without FCI’s permission. We will try solving issue on Monday and gurdwara can buy wheat from us for Rs 20,080 per tonne,” he said.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-coronavirus-lockdown-ludhiana-gurdwara-langar-6336934/

Globe Newswire – United Sikhs calls for decisive action after the massacre of 24 Sikhs in Afghanistan

International resettlement of Afghan Sikhs and Hindus may be the only viable option

New York – New York State – USA, 28 March 2020. United Sikhs is deeply saddened in the wake of Wednesday’s cowardly attack on Gurdwara Guru Har Rai in Shor Bazar, Kabul, Afghanistan which left 24 Sikhs dead and scores injured. The Sikh worshippers had gathered to pray for the world in response to the Covid-19 pandemic that has gripped the globe.

Sadly their prayers were shattered by the bullets of terror. United Sikhs is in touch with the families on the ground and has setup a GoFundMe page along with Facebook campaign for urgent assistance to the Afghani Sikhs impacted by this horrific act of violence.

The assistance will be two-folds, Advocacy to rehabilitate and Humanitarian Aid for urgent and emergency needs. United Sikhs urges the United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, France, Germany, India, Pakistan and other countries to answer the plea of the Sikhs and give them Special Protected Status.

Special entry into their countries via protected asylum, relocation, security and/or rebuilding efforts must be undertaken on an urgent basis. United Sikhs is working with the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres to speed up the migration of the Afghan Sikhs with UNHCR.

We realize that the only plausible option is international resettlement along with a process where the Sikh heritage in Afghanistan can be preserved.

In the past 48 hours United Sikhs has contacted the Afghan Sikh community in Afghanistan to assess their immediate needs through our chapter in Peshawar, Pakistan. Our legal wing has contacted the Afghanistan Ambassadors in the USA, Canada, UK, Australia and Kenya to seek security and safety of all remaining Sikhs in Afghanistan.

We have reached out to the UN Rapporteurs to familiarize them with the issue at hand while seeking migration assistance for the Afghan families. We have urged the global community on social media to write to their congressmen, members of parliament and relevant law makers asking them to condemn this terrorist attack.

United Sikhs has been advocating for the Afghan Sikhs since 2015 when refugee status was sought in Canada with the leadership of Alberta MLA Manmeet Singh Bhullar before his tragic passing. In 2018 after the Jalalabad bombing left 12 Sikh leaders dead, United Sikhs presented before the 39th session of the Human Rights Council the plight of the Hindus and Sikhs in Afghanistan.

Later that year a petition was filed in the Canadian Parliament seeking safe passage. In the USA, over the past few years, the State Department has been approached as well as direct meetings taken place with Ambassador Brownback of the Office of International Religious Freedom.

Alarmingly, a second attack occurred when an explosion jolted the grieving families while performing the final rites of the deceased. Afghanistan has historically been home to hundreds of thousands of Sikhs for centuries.

However due to the constant targeted violence the Sikh population has dwindled to barely one thousand, made up of less than 300 families, with only a few gurdwaras (houses of worship and learning) functioning in the country.

One of the reasons some have been hesitant to leave Afghanistan has been to safeguard and protect their historical institutions. However with the constant carnage and devastation there remains very little in an alternative.

Globally, all United Sikhs chapters stand unified in its condemning of the violence against the Sikh community in Afghanistan. The Sikh faith believes in bringing out the mutual understanding, respect and dignity of ALL people. Together, we join the world in supporting the families of those lost to this terrorist and senseless attack on our community.

About United Sikhs: United Sikhs is a UNO affiliated, international non-profit, non-governmental, humanitarian relief, human development and advocacy organization, aimed at empowering those in need, especially disadvantaged and minority communities across the world.

United Sikhs is registered: as a non-profit tax-exempt organization pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code in the USA; as a Registered Charity in England and Wales under the Charities Act 1993, Charity Number 111 2055; registered in Australia as a not for profit NGO (ABN 24 317 847 103); and is a registered NGO in Belgium; as a non-profit organization in Canada; under the Societies Registration Act 1860 in Panjab and as a tax-exempt organisation under section 80G of the Income Tax Act 1961; under the French Association Law 1901; under the Societies Registration Act 1860 in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Pakistan; as a registered society under the Registrar of Societies in Malaysia (registered as UNITED SIKHS Malaysia Humanitarian Aid Organisation- Regn No: PPM-015-14-06042015); and an NGO pending registration in the Republic of Ireland.

Gurvinder Singh United Sikhs
1.469.222.6288
gurvinder.singh@unitedsikhs.org

https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/03/28/2008008/0/en/UNITED-SIKHS-calls-for-decisive-action-after-the-massacre-of-24-Sikhs-in-Afghanistan.html

The Hindu – Kabul gurdwara attacker left a wide footprint

He did small jobs in Bengaluru, Malaysia, Saudi and Dubai before joining IS

Suhasini Haidar – Vijaita Singh

New Delhi – India, 29 March 2020. The man from Kasaragod in Kerala, who is suspected to be one of the three attackers who killed 25 Sikh worshippers in Kabul, Afghanistan, has been on the move since he was 16, taking up small jobs in Bengaluru, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Dubai before making his way to Afghanistan to join the Islamic State.

Meanwhile, the body of Tian Singh, the lone Indian killed in the March 25 attack, is expected to be brought to India on Monday, sources told The Hindu. His body will be brought on one of the special flights expected this week to take out about 2,500 Afghan tourists and temporary visitors.

On 25 March, his widow Rajeet Kaur and one son, Jagmeet Singh, had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking for an early repatriation of his last remains, as all commercial flights had been cancelled owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sources said the government gave special permission to the Afghan embassy in Delhi to operate several special flights, the first of which flew to Kabul on Saturday, and also put in a request for the return of Tian Singh’s body.

Two other children who are unable to travel from London have also tweeted an appeal for visas from the Indian High Commission in London and permission to return and “attend and perform the last rites” of their father.

A loner with no known friends in India, Muhammed Muhsin, 29, is said to have contacted his mother about nine months ago Telegram, when he was thought to be in Dubai, a senior official said. Muhsin, he said, had asked his mother to join a group called ‘Gentleman’ on the app.

On March 26, she received a message from a Telegram ID, ‘@war3030’, that her son was dead.

One of his brothers confirmed to security agencies that the photograph of the attacker published by Al Naba, the propaganda wing of the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), is that of Muhsin’s.

The officials have claimed that though Muhsin was never on the radar of the police, the security agencies had noticed his father’s mobile phone number in a WhatsApp group created by Rashid Abdullah, alias Abu Isa, who led the group of 21 men and women from Kerala that had left India in 2016.

“While verifying the details of the members of the WhatsApp group moderated by Rashid, it was found that Muhsin was then in Dubai,” said the official. The official said Muhsin dropped out of a government school in Class XI. He also went to a madrassa in Class VII.

He moved to Bengaluru to work in a hotel but returned after a year. He then moved to Dubai where he worked at Emirates Petroleum. On his return, he moved to Malaysia.

“He came back in 2015, stayed for a few months in Kerala only to move to Saudi Arabia in 2016,” the official said. He came from Saudi Arabia in 2018 and stayed in Kerala for four months. He left for Dubai the same year and did not return. He last contacted his mother nine months ago.

As reported by The Hindu, the family did not inform the police that Muhsin was missing. Officials suspect he moved to Afghanistan from Dubai to join the ISKP.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kabul-attacker-left-a-wide-footprint/article31195055.ece

The Statesman – ‘Sikh families who want to be flown out of Afghanistan, it’s our duty to help them’: Amarinder Singh

On 25 March unidentified gunmen and suicide bombers stormed a Sikh gurdwara in the heart of Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul, killing at least 27 worshippers and wounding as many, in one of the deadliest attacks on the minority community in the country.

New Delhi – India, 28 March 2020. Chief Minister of Punjab Amarinder Singh, on Saturday, urged Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to bring stranded Sikh families back from war-ravaged Afghanistan to India.

CM Singh took to Twitter and said, “Dear Dr S Jaishankar, there are a large number of Sikh families who want to be flown out of Afghanistan. Request you to get them airlifted at the earliest. In this moment of crisis, it’s our bounden duty to help them.”

On 25 March, unidentified gunmen and suicide bombers stormed a Sikh gurdwara in the heart of Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul, killing at least 27 worshippers and wounding as many, in one of the deadliest attacks on the minority community in the country.

India had condemned the heinous terror attack on the gurdwara in Kabul and said such “cowardly attacks especially at this time of COVID 19 pandemic is reflective of diabolical mindset of perpetrators, their backers”.

“We convey our sincerest condolences to the immediate family members of the deceased and wish speedy recovery to the injured. India stands ready to extend all possible assistance to the affected families of the Hindu and Sikh community of Afghanistan,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

External Affairs Minister Jaishankar also condemned the attack. He had said: “Deeply concerned at the blasts reported near the cremation site of those killed during the attack on Gurudwara Sahib in Kabul.”

Jaishankar said that Indian Embassy in Kabul was in touch with Kabul security authorities. He said that he has asked them to ensure adequate security onsite as well as safe return of families to their homes thereafter.

CM Amarinder Singh and Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal had also condemned the attack on a religious gathering in a Gurdwara in Kabul. Amarinder Singh described the attack as extremely “tragic and unfortunate”.

“Horrific news coming from Kabul where a barbaric terror attack happened in the Gurudwara Guru Har Rai. It’s extremely tragic and unfortunate. Request (Afghanistan) President @Ashraf Ghani Ji to find out the perpetrators and look after our people,” Singh had tweeted.

The Ashraf Ghani government has blamed the Pakistan-backed Haqqani network for the terror attack.

However, the Taliban, has denied involvement in the attack on the Sikh shrine. Though the US and Taliban have signed a peace deal, violence in Afghanistan remains unabated.

‘Sikh families who want to be flown out of Afghanistan, it’s our duty to help them’: Amarinder Singh

The Tribune – Child injured in blast near Sikh crematorium in Afghan capital

Kabul – Afghanistan, 26 March 2020. A bomb blast took place near a Sikh crematorium in the Afghan capital on Thursday, injuring a child and disrupting funeral services for 25 members of the minority community who had been killed by a heavily armed Islamic State suicide bomber a day earlier.

A magnetic bomb went off close to the Sikh crematorium in Kabul, Pajhwok Afghan News quoted a policeman as saying.

It said a child was injured in the blast, which also disrupted the funeral services for the victims of the Islamic State attack on a prominent gurdwara on Wednesday in the heart of Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul.

Thursday’s attack was the second assault on the minority community in as many days.

Wednesday’s attack was one of the deadliest targeting the Sikh community in the strife-torn country. Eighty people, including women and children, were rescued from the gurdwara.

TOLO news, quoting sources in the Afghan government blaming the dreaded Haqqani group for the attack.

The Pakistan-based Haqqani group, designated by the US as a banned terror outfit, has conducted several deadly attacks inside Afghanistan.

Sikh lawmaker Narendar Singh Khalsa told reporters that up to 150 people were praying inside the gurdwara when it came under attack.

Khalsa, the only representative of the Sikh community in Afghanistan, said he received a call from a worshipper inside the gurdwara, informing him about the attack.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack on the gurdwara, saying the attack on the religious sites shows the extreme weakness of the enemy, religious sites should not be vulnerable to attacks and violence.

War-torn Afghanistan is currently mired in a political stalemate with two politicians, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, both claiming victory in the presidential election.

Sikhs have been target of attacks by Islamist militants before in Afghanistan.

In July 2018, ISIS terrorists bombed a gathering of Sikhs and Hindus in the eastern city of Jalalabad, killing 19 people and injuring 20.

Awtar Singh Khalsa, one of the country’s best-known Sikh politicians then, was among those killed in the attack.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/child-injured-in-blast-near-sikh-crematorium-in-afghan-capital-61401

Afghanistan Times – Sikhs seek asylum in Canada in wake of Gurdwara attack

Faizi Mansour

Kabul – Afghanistan, 27 March 2020. Afghan Sikh community has called on the government of Canada to accept their asylum plea after a deadly attack conducted by the ISIS-Khurarsan or so called Daesh on one of their worship places (Gurdwara) in capital Kabul that killed 25 and wounding eight other Afghan Sikhs.

Over 100 Sikh families have sought asylum in Canada.

An Afghan Sikh, Sorbi Singh accused the government of committing negligence to the Sikh minorities, saying that no one in Afghanistan pays attention to their problems.

“President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah are jeopardizing the people for their personnel interests,” Tajindar Singh, another Afghan Sikh said. “We are exhausted.”

Meanwhile, Narindar Singh Khalsa, a Sikh member of the Afghan parliament has condemned the attack and called it in contrast with humanity. “You will never succeeded,” he said in respond to the militants.

Last week, the ISIS-Khurarsan militants set a complex attack on Gurdwara, the Afghan Sikhs’ worship place in PD 1st of capital city of Kabul.

The attack has faced serious reactions from Afghan and foreign officials. Sikhs are considered as the minority of the Afghan mass.

“I strongly condemn the terrorist attack on our Sikh sisters and brothers in Kabul and condole with the victims,” said National Security Advisor, Hamdullah Mohib.

http://www.afghanistantimes.af/sikhs-seek-asylum-in-canada-in-wake-of-gurdwara-attack/