India In Constant Touch With Afghan Sikhs And Hindus In Afghanistan; Will Ensure The Provision Of All The Necessary Assistance: MEA

Diksha Yadav

Aug 13, 2021, 02:45 PM | Updated 03:37 PM IST

Hindus and Sikhs of Afghanistan
Hindus and Sikhs of Afghanistan
  • India continues to remain in touch with Afghan Hindu and Sikh community members and we will ensure the provision of all necessary assistance to them, said MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.
  • Indian Embassy in Kabul is in constant touch with the Afghan Sikh and Hindu communities in Afghanistan, said the official Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Arindam Bagchi, on Thursday (12 August).

    While addressing the weekly press briefing, Bagchi, when asked about the situation of Hindu and Sikh minorities in Afghanistan, said India is closely monitoring the situation in Afghanistan. “We are concerned about the deteriorating security situation,” said Bagchi.

    Earlier this week, Indian Embassy in Kabul issued a security advisory for Indian nationals advising them to return to India through commercial flights as the situation in Afghanistan is worsening day by day.

    As of today (13 August), Taliban claimed to have captured 14 of the total 34 provincial capitals of Afghanistan. Today, as reported by AFP, the Taliban has taken over the key southern city of Lashkar Gah, and Afghanistan’s second-largest city Kandahar, too, had been captured by the Taliban yesterday (12 August).

    The situation has riled up extensively in the region as the Taliban continues to expand itself, as a result of which, now the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom have announced to send their troops to evacuate their people from Afghanistan.

    But now, for the Hindu and Sikh minorities in Afghanistan, India seems to be the only hope. Reminding that India had facilitated more than 383 members of the Hindu and Sikh community in Afghanistan to India last year, Bagchi said, “Our embassy in Kabul continues to remain in touch with Afghan Hindu and Sikh community members and we will ensure the provision of all necessary assistance to them.”

    Since the situation began to rile up in Afghanistan, the Afghan Hindu and Sikh minorities and the World Sikh Organisation (WSO) were looking up to the Canadian government for help. They wanted the Canadian government to include them (200 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus who are under the threat of being attacked by the Taliban) in the resettlement plan that the government was planning to introduce.

    The Canadian government had introduced a resettlement plan for Afghan nationals who had helped the Canadian Army in Afghanistan, providing them with services of construction workers, cleaners, drivers, security guards, etc. However, the Afghan Sikhs and Hindus were not included when the resettlement plan was announced last month (end-July).

    During the press interaction, Bagchi also informed that India was all set to attend a regional meet on Thursday (12 August) that was to be hosted by Qatar to discuss the situation in Afghanistan as the Taliban continues their attack in the region, killing innocent lives and forcing women into sex slavery.

    Ministry of External Affairs Joint Secretary in Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran division JP Singh was to attend this meeting. The invitation to attend this meet was extended to India last week by Mutlaq bin Majed Al-Qahtani, the Special Envoy of Foreign Minister of Qatar for Counter-terrorism and Mediation of Conflict Resolution during his visit to India to discuss the latest developments in Afghanistan.

    Also Read: Abandoned By The World, Living In Fear Of The Taliban: India Is The Only Hope For Hindus And Sikhs Of Afghanistan

    Diksha Yadav is a senior sub editor at Swarajya.

    Get Swarajya in your inbox.