Afghan Sikhs living in Delhi have welcomed the Indian government’s announcement on providing emergency visas to Afghan nationals fleeing the country after the Taliban took over Kabul. The community also hailed the government’s move to prioritise the evacuation of minority Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan.
“We are happy with the government’s statement that they are in touch with Hindu, Sikh Afghan nationals and are willing to provide help. It would be great if the government could find a way for their safe passage,” said Waryam Singh, an Afghan Sikh living in Delhi.
On Tuesday, the Ministry of External Affairs said, “As regards to Afghan nationals, our visa services will continue through an e-Emergency visa facility, which has been extended to Afghan nationals. This can be accessed through our e-visa portal at indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/Registration. We have already received requests from Afghan Sikh and Hindu community leaders, and are in touch with them.”
We are in constant touch with the Sikh and Hindu community leaders in Kabul. Their welfare will get our priority attention. @capt_amarinder @HardeepSPuri
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar August 16, 2021
“We meet every day and are tense about Sikhs still living in Afghanistan. Everyone has been talking about the fate of those still living there. We areing the developments and hope that they remain safe,” said Partap Singh, originally from Jalalabad.
Many Indian nationals have been brought back from Afghanistan after the Taliban took over the country. (AFP photo
At Partap Singh’s office, a team of young men is coordinating a database of Sikhs in Afghanistan and those in desperate need.
While work progressed, a video pinged on their mobile phones. The video was from Kabul. Holed up in a gurdwara in Afghanistan, Sikhs and Hindus were asking for help. The mood at the gurudwara turned serious, and with a solemn resolve, the office-bearers returned to work.