Sikh abducted in Afghanistan, Afghan American community seeks India’s help to free him
The Sikh community living in the United States on Monday appealed to the Indian government to help in the resettlement of Sikhs living in Afghanistan after an Afghan Sikh was abducted from the Paktia province in eastern Afghanistan four days ago.
The man identified as Nidhan Singh, hails from Tsamkani district in the Paktia province and was employed as a gursewak (helper) at the local gurdwara.
The Afghan American community have appealed to India to make special arrangements under the Vande Bharat Mission to provide a safe haven for more than 600 Sikhs.
“I have spoken to Sikh Member of Parliament Narinder Singh and he has confirmed that officials in the Afghan government have promised to help and find Nidhan,” Paramjit Singh Bedi, the chairman of the Afghan Sikh community in New Jersey said.
“Narinder Singh has also reached out to Taliban leaders and has been assured that all efforts will be made to ensure his release,” Bedi said.
Bedi and other community members will send written appeals to former diplomat and Union civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri, the external affairs minister S Jaishankar and the Indian envoy to the United States, Taranjit Singh Sandhu.
Worried for the lives of the Sikh minorities living in Kabul, Jalalabad and Ghazni, the Sikh community, has been constantly seeking support from India.
Encouraged by steps taken by the Indian government, leaders of the Afghan Sikh community leaders have made several appeals to India to accommodate the Sikhs and Hindus from Afghanistan and grant them legal entry with long-term residency multiple-entry visa.
The community leaders living in the United States said it is imperative to alleviate the dire situation of religious minorities in Afghanistan who look to India as the only safe haven in the region.