Scepticism was evident among the many members of the small Sikh neighborhood at Gurdwara Bagh-e-Bala in a hilly neighbourhood of Kabul, the capital of war-torn Afghanistan, as they vowed to reside of their motherland below Taliban rule.
The small Sikh and Hindu communities nonetheless residing in Kabul, together with the provinces of Ghazni, Jalalabad, Khost, and Kandahar, don’t have any plans to depart their homeland in Afghanistan and are prepared to reside below Taliban rule, mentioned Manmohan Singh Sethi, vp of the native Gurdwara Committee Kabul.
Afghanistan has roughly 35 million inhabitants, with nearly 99.7% being Muslim.
Speaking to Anadolu Company, Sethi mentioned there are solely 150 Sikh and Hindu households left within the nation, with the vast majority of their members having migrated to India over the previous 20 years.
Sikhs and Hindus have been residing in Afghanistan for hundreds of years, in accordance with Sethi, who’s a businessman.
“We do not wish to go away our nation, no matter who involves energy in Afghanistan,” he mentioned. “That is, in any case, our nation.”
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Some members of the group, nonetheless, want to journey to India as a result of their spiritual ties to the South Asian nation and say they had been ready for worldwide flights to renew from Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport in Kabul.
“We’ll you’ll want to return to our homeland,” he asserted.
Although Sikh and Hindu households in Afghanistan as soon as numbered within the hundreds, the bulk left in the course of the a long time of battle that started in 1979 with the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union.
Sikhs urge Taliban to guard minority rights
Members of Afghanistan’s Sikh neighborhood don’t have any points residing below Taliban rule, mentioned Talwindar Singh Chawla, who traveled to Kabul with many different Sikhs and Hindus from throughout the nation.
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“All they need is for his or her rights as minorities within the nation to be protected,” he advised Anadolu Company.
Because the Taliban made its latest lightning advances throughout the nation, the vast majority of the 2 communities got here to Kabul and stayed at a temple within the Katre Pawran neighborhood. After the capital additionally fell, nonetheless, a crew of the Taliban went to the temple and warranted them of their security.
“I am in fixed contact with the President of the Gurdwara Committee in Kabul … Even at the moment, Taliban leaders got here to Gurdwara Sahib and met the Hindus and Sikhs and warranted them,” mentioned Chawla.
He additionally urged the worldwide neighborhood, significantly Turkey, to help minorities and assist reconstruct the nation.
Hindus and Sikhs in Afghanistan
Hindus and Sikhs have been residing in Afghanistan for a whole lot of years. Many within the communities work in commerce and natural drugs.
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Within the Forties, Afghanistan’s Sikh and Hindu inhabitants had risen to 250,000 folks.
The communities had been considerably decimated by the Soviet occupation in 1979 and the following civil wars. A few of them settled in North America and Europe, whereas the bulk went to India and Pakistan.
Sikhs and Hindus had been ordered to put on yellow armbands and hoist yellow flags above their houses in the course of the Taliban’s first rule from 1996 to 2001.
The Taliban, permitting them to reside within the nation and worship in accordance with their faith’s rituals, referred to them as “dhimmah,” a historic time period used for non-Muslims residing in an Islamic nation.
The vast majority of Afghan Sikhs and Hindus adopted Afghan traditions with the intention to mix in with the tradition. Some amongst them talk in Pashto or Dari, that are official languages in Afghanistan, publicly however solely communicate Punjabi at house.
In 2018, at the very least 20 folks had been killed in a suicide bombing within the jap metropolis of Jalalabad, which focused a convoy of Hindus and Sikhs.
Final 12 months, 25 folks had been killed in an armed assault on a Sikh temple within the Shorbazar neighborhood of Kabul, for which Daesh, or ISIS, later claimed accountability.
“Nobody is left right here, how can I reside with out my different relations,” one Sikh mentioned as he lamented the departure of family who had left the nation or died within the combating, citing the assaults in Jalalabad and Kabul.
He mentioned there was nothing to do right here with out cash as there have been no jobs or enterprise prospects.
Some members of the Sikh neighborhood personal eateries close to the Bagh-e-Bala temple, though they look like doing much less enterprise as a result of present political and financial circumstances.
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Poverty is seen in Kabul’s streets, the place folks beg for bread. Nevertheless, there are additionally tall buildings with high-end procuring malls, eating places, and residences, demonstrating the wealth hole between the wealthy and the poor.
As a result of the federal government’s belongings are held outdoors the nation, the Taliban are quick on money and the inhabitants lacks confidence within the incoming administration’s financial insurance policies.
Afghanistan is already blocked from accessing sources within the Worldwide Financial Fund, together with round $440 million in new monetary reserves, as a result of a scarcity of readability surrounding the nation’s future governance construction.
US officers have mentioned that the Afghan central financial institution’s roughly $10 billion in belongings overseas would stay past the Taliban’s attain.