26 US Congressmen has expressed concern for the safety of minorities in Afghanistan who are living under imminent danger of Islamic State terror. The US Senators have urged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a plea to ensure ‘safe and expeditious relocation of Sikhs and Hindus’ who are stranded in war-torn in Afghanistan.
In a letter dated 4 May, Congressman John Garamendi, the co-chair of American Sikh caucus and 25 other senators has stated that the members of the minority communities are under constant danger from the ISIS militants there.
The letter read, “We write to express our deep concern about the safety of the vulnerable Sikh religious minority in Afghanistan, which continues to be under grave threat from Islamic State terrorist attacks directed at Sikhs. Once a thriving community of nearly 250,000 people, the Sikh and Hindu community in Afghanistan has endured years of discrimination and violence from extremists, and the community is now estimated to comprise fewer than 100 families across the country.”
The plea said, “the situation is extremely grave.”
The Written plea also stated, “As such, we urge you (Pompeo) to take all available steps to facilitate the safe and expeditious relocation of members of the Sikh and Hindu religious minorities in Afghanistan.”
“We understand that such referrals to the USRAP are generally used in small numbers and situations of extreme danger, but we believe this situation is extremely grave and urge you to expand the use of this measure to save Afghan Sikhs and Hindus”, the plea further stated.
The congressmen of Sikh caucus appelled Mike Pompeo to consider referring the people from the minority communities in Afghanistan to the USRAP (United States Refugee Admissions Program) through priority 1 embassy referrals.
Admission of refugees restricted in US due to pandemic
Senators also urged Mike Pompeo to seek support from the other member nation in the International Religious freedom Alliance to safeguard and protect the minority communities of Afghanistan. While the admission of refugees in the United States has been suspended due to the grave health crisis of Wuhan Coronavirus, the Congressmen stated that it is an urgent need to protect them.
The Senators wrote they will continue to flag the matter as it was urgent for Afghan Sikh and Hindus.