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India, US offer citizenship to last remaining Afghan Hindus, Sikhs

New Delhi: The beleaguered Hindu and Sikh minorities of Afghanistan have discovered assist in not simply India, but additionally within the US.

A decision, launched within the Home of Representatives by Congresswoman Jackie Speier and co-sponsored by seven others, seeks to resettle persecuted spiritual communities in Afghanistan to the US.

Launched final week, the decision stated: “Sikhs and Hindus are indigenous but endangered minorities in Afghanistan, numbering approximately 700 out of a community that recently included over 8,000 members.”

The decision added: “These acts follow a greater pattern of targeted violence against Sikhs, Hindus, and other minorities in Afghanistan in recent years.”

Members from these two communities will probably be resettled below the US Refugee Admissions Program.

In response to Tolo Information, the Afghan information company, practically 99 per cent of the 2 minority communities have migrated from Afghanistan within the final three a long time.

Hindus, as soon as historic rulers of Afghanistan, have depleted to negligible numbers whereas the Sikhs, who’ve a 500-year-old historical past, quantity simply 600, too are prone to go extinct because the final handful go away the war-torn nation. Collectively, the 2 communities quantity simply 700, from a hefty 700,000 within the 1970s. Upheavals and conflicts in Afghanistan coupled with discrimination and terror assaults have led to a gradual decline over the a long time.

For the Sikhs who had been holding on to their citizenship within the Afghan cities of Kabul and Jalalabad, two assaults — a suicide assault on July 1, 2018, in Jalalabad which killed 19 Sikhs and Hindus, and this yr’s assault on March 25 at Gurdwara Guru Har Rai Sahib, Kabul, that killed 25 — had been the final straw. They’ve determined to depart their homeland.

In June, a bipartisan group of 20 US senators had urged the Trump administration to grant emergency refugee safety to Sikh and Hindu communities from Afghanistan.

“Sikh and Hindu communities in Afghanistan face an existential threat from ISIS-K because of their religion. To protect religious freedom, we urgently ask that you take these essential steps to defend these threatened religious minorities,” they stated within the letter.

The assault on Gurdwara Guru Har Rai Sahib not simply led to the exodus but additionally put a highlight on the situation of the 2 communities.

Because the Indian authorities expedited visas for the beleaguered group in July, Congressman Jim Costa applauded India’s stand in a tweet: “This marks an important step toward protecting Afghanistan’s Sikh and Hindu communities from imminent destruction at the hands of terrorists.”

The Indian authorities had on July 23 stated that in addition to offering visas to Afghan Hindus and Sikhs to journey to India, the federal government can be taking a look at their request for Indian citizenship.

Ministry of Exterior Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Anurag Shrivastava stated that Central authorities was receiving requests from these communities that “they want to move to India and settle down here.” Regardless of the Covid-19 pandemic, “we are facilitating the requests.”

Paradoxically, the Citizenship Modification Act-2019 (CAA), which was vehemently opposed by sure sections of individuals and led to wanton rioting in Delhi will allow these minority communities to achieve Indian citizenship.

The principle goal of the CAA was to quick monitor citizenship for migrants from Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities belonging to 3 neighboring nations of Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

As Afghanistan falls into a much bigger chaos, the final remaining Hindu and Sikh minorities will discover shelter in India, USA and Europe – all liberal and democratic nations.

Their spiritual establishments, the temples and gurdwaras, which have come all the way down to barely a dozen in quantity will not have the monks to carry out the celebrations, cultural and spiritual festivals which so deeply symbolise these two religions.

Because the final remaining Hindus and Sikhs go away their Afghan homeland, as soon as a land that nurtured Hindus and Buddhists too, solely a miniscule minority internationally is aware of it’s witness to some thousand-year-old historic historical past being erased utterly, and a brand new one being written afresh.

(IANS)

Additionally Learn:

Afghanistan Writes To UNSC Over ‘Violations’ Of Its Territory By Pakistan Forces

Gunmen assault Sikh gurdwara in Afghanistan, killing 25 folks

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