On July 19, World Sikh Organization, Canada, has urged the Canadian government to launch a special program for Afghan Sikhs and Hindus. In this regard, The Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation, Khalsa Aid Canada, and the World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) had issued a joint statement.
In their statement, they urged the Canadian government to create a special program for highly vulnerable Sikh and Hindu minorities in Afghanistan. It read, “As the situation on the ground in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate, we are seeing Afghan interpreters who worked side by side with Canadians, coming under threat and fearing for their lives.” They urged the Government of Canada to act swiftly to provide safety to the vulnerable population in war-torn Afghanistan.
The Organization claimed that the Hindus and Sikhs who have moved to India after the suicide attack on Gurdwara Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib in Kabul in March 2020 have no viable option of resettlement. Notably, On May 20 this year, the government of India had invited applications for non-Muslim refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh to grant Indian citizenship. The said order to grant such refugees citizenship was not a part of CAA.
The statement quoting Tarjinder Bhullar of the Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation further added, “Now is the time for progress to be expedited to ensure that we can assist as many Afghan Sikhs and Hindus that face deep uncertainty and imminent danger on an hourly and daily basis.” WSO President was quoted saying that it is time to act; otherwise, Hindus and Sikhs remaining in Afghanistan would be targeted and killed.
On July 22, Aaj Tak reported that out of 60 Sikh and Hindu families living in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, 53 had moved to India amidst an ongoing war-like situation in the country. Only seven families are still living in a Gurudwara in Jalalabad. On July 21, Times of India had reported that Sikhs and Hindus living in Afghanistan had urged the international community to help them before its too late. Gurnam Singh, president of Gurdwara Kartae Parwan, Kabul, said there were around 150 Sikhs and Hindus living in Kabul under constant fear of Taliban. He added, “For now, we are living in Kabul and are safe but for nobody knows for how long we will remain safe.”
WSO had called CAA a controversial law
WSO has been urging the Canadian government to create a special program under Section 25.2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to ensure “to bring these vulnerable individuals to safety.” The demand for a special law for the persecuted minorities’ safety is very much similar to what CAA is aimed at. However, the Organization had categorically called it a “controversial act” repeatedly since it was passed in 2019.
WSO had blamed Hindus for Delhi Riots 2020
Notably, WSO had blamed Hindus for the Delhi Riots that erupted in February 2020 following the protests against CAA. Blaming Kapil Mishra for inciting the riots, the Organization said, “Once again, we are seeing communal attacks on minorities in India with police assisting the mobs and themselves engaging in violence. Reporters have also been attacked. It is deeply disturbing that it was a member [Kapil Mishra] of the ruling BJP party that had warned of violence if the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) did not end.”
They added, “India has repeatedly seen attacks against minorities, including Sikhs, Muslims and Christians, that have been either sanctioned by the state or ignored.”