Afghan Sikhs call for peace following mass migration

Only 250 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus have remained in Afghanistan following the evacuation of hundreds of their community members from cities across the country last year.

The vulnerable minority stated that they had the highest migration rate of all groups in Afghanistan and lost a huge number of Sikhs and Hindus to violence in the last five years of President Ashraf Ghani’s tenure.

Chairman of the Sikh and Hindu Council, Ram Sarn said that around 500 Sikhs and Hindus left Afghanistan following the deadly attack on their Gurdwara, or temple, in Shor Bazar of Kabul city last year.

About 200 worshipers were reported to have been in the building at the time of the attack which lasted about an hour.

Twenty-five Sikh worshippers, including one child, were killed in the March attack.

“People left Afghanistan to protect their families. If a real government comes and the human rights of citizens like us are not violated, they will return to Afghanistan,” Ram said.

Meanwhile, challenges such as land grabbing, poverty, and harassment have forced the remaining community to settle in one of their religious sites in Kabul.

Sikhs and Hindus have urged the warring parties to stop the war and bring peace to Afghanistan.

“A durable peace must come. We have witnessed 40 years of war – it is enough. The situation has worsened. If the situation continues this way the remaining Sardars (Sikhs) will leave Afghanistan,” said Sundar Singh district representative of the community.