Most of the remaining Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan are largely confined to major cities. Their well-being is causing increasing anxiety in India, as the Taliban* sets its eyes on these areas. The Islamist insurgent group has already taken several major cities in recent days and threatens a dozen more.
A Congress Party politician has urged India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar to grant “special visas” to evacuate 700 Hindus and Sikhs stuck in Afghanistan, in the face of increased violence in the war-ravaged nation as the Taliban sets its eyes on the country’s major cities.
“You may be aware that these people, fearing for their lives have appealed to the government of India for their immediate evacuation”, the Congress politician said in his letter to the foreign minister.
The safety and security of Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan has been a cause of concern for the Indian government.
In 2020, Delhi evacuated more than 190 Hindus and Sikhs from the country in the wake of a deadly terrorist attack on a Sikh temple by Daesh* terrorists, which left 25 Sikhs dead.
Once a thriving business community, Afghan Sikhs and Hindus now number only 700 in the country. According to historians, there were more than 200,000 of them in the 1980s. Most of the remaining Indian-origin communities live in Jalalabad, Kandahar, and Kabul.
Renewed fears about the state of Sikhs and Hindus were sparked last week, when Taliban militants reportedly forced a…