Cong leaders demands evacuation of Hindus, Sikhs from war-torn Afghanistan

 Congress leader Jaiveer Shergill on Monday wrote to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar demanding the immediate evacuation of Hindus and Sikhs from war-torn Afghanistan.

In his letter, Shergill said his love for his own people of Indian origin has compelled him to take up the matter with Jaishankar.

 "As you are more than aware, the Taliban offensive has escalated in Afghanistan, post-US withdrawal of troops, and they are fighting at gun point to turn the country, once again into a hub for transnational terrorism," he said in his letter.

"The current catastrophic trajectory of violence has caused a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, thus, risking the lives of the people, including those from India," he also said.

According to the information available in public domain, around 650 Sikhs and 50 Hindus are stuck in Afghanistan and have become sitting targets for the Taliban adamant to kill minorities belonging to Indian origin, he said.

The Congress leader cited cited several instances of attacks on minorities of Indian origin, including the recent act of the Taliban removing “Nishan Sahib” from a gurudwara located in Chamkani Area of ​​Paktia, killing of 25 Sikhs during an attack on Gurudwara Har Rai Sahib in Kabul, the suicide attack in Jalalabad in July, 2018 in which 19 Sikhs and Hindus were killed.

"These people, fearing for their lives, have appealed to the Government of India for their immediate evacuation," he said.

The Taliban has been making rapid advances across Afghanistan by resorting to widespread violence since the United States began withdrawing its troops from the country on May 1.

The US has already pulled back the majority of its forces and is looking to complete the drawdown by August 31.

India has been supporting a national peace and reconciliation process that is Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled.

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