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Will Sikhs in Afghanistan Return To India After The Jalalabad Bombings?



Are Sikhs in Afghanistan contemplating to leave Afghanistan after the Jalalabad Bomb Blast? A lethal suicide bomb blast on Sunday in Jalalabad, Afghanistan killed 19 civilians, most of whom were Sikhs. This convoy was headed to meet the President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani when the suicide bombers struck. After the tragic Jalalabad bombing, Sikhs in Afghanistan are now wary of their future in Afghanistan. 

As per the figures of 2013, around 800 Sikh families live in Afghanistan. 300 out of these 800 families of Sikhs in Afghanistan live in Kabul, the capital city. One of the Sikhs among the deceased, Avtar Singh Khalsa was about the contest the elections in October. The Islamic State has owned up to the responsibility for the attacks.

The Indian Embassy as well as the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi condemned the cowardly attack in Afghanistan’s Jalalabad. As much as 17 among the dead were Hindus and Sikhs.

Will the Sikhs in Afghanistan Return to India?

After the deadly Jalalabad bombings which claimed many innocent lives, the Sikhs in Afghanistan are under severe pressure. The Afghan Sikhs are now considering moving to India in the wake of terror attacks and threats to their lives.

Sikhs in Afghanistan after the attacks said that they cannot live there anymore. They further added that even though they are Afghans and recognised by the government, the Islamic terrorists would not tolerate their religious practices. There are only two Gurdwaras (places of worship of the Sikhs) in Afghanistan with one of them in Kabul and the other in Jalalabad.

Before the civil war of 1990s Afghanistan which is otherwise, an Islamic nation was home to 250,000 Hindus and Sikhs. Even though Sikhs in Afghanistan enjoy a sense of political representation and right to freedom of religion they are harassed and assaulted by the Islamic militants. The Sikh community in Afghanistan is now doubtful of its future in Afghanistan.

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