Sikh bodies urge Canada to evacuate Afghan Sikhs and Hindus

Ontario Sikh press conference
Canadian Sikh leaders at a press conference to highlight plight of Sikh and Hindu minorities in Afghanistan.

MISSISSAUGA: The Ontario Gurdwaras Committee and the Ontario Sikhs and Gurdwaras Council have urged Canada to evacuate Sikh and Hindu minorities from Afghanistan and fast-track the files of those who have been privately sponsored by Canadians.

Expressing concern over the situation of Afghan Sikhs and Hindus after the recent killing of 19 Sikhs by an Islamic State suicide bomber in Jalalabad, the Sikh organizations said at a press conference here that Afghan minority communities are facing a major crisis because of a lack of safety and security for their lives.

Because of their horrible situation, the Sikh organizations urged the Canadian government  to “recognize Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan as vulnerable minorities and develop an appropriate plan of action with our international allies to directly evacuate them from their current situation without requiring them to first go to a third country.”

The Sikh organizations also wanted Canada to “fast track and complete the files of the 65 Afghan Sikh and Hindu refugee families who have been privately sponsored and whose files are under process.’’

In the coming days, the statement said, Canadian Sikh community representatives will interact with government and elected officials to help Afghan Sikhs and Hindus.

Representatives from the British Columbia Sikh Gurdwara Council, Sharanjeet Kaur from the World Sikh Organization of Canada and Jatinder Singh from Khalsa Aid Canada were also present at the press conference to express their concern over the plight of minorities in Afghanistan.

Baljinder Singh Bhullar, father of the late MLA Manmeet Singh Bhullar in Alberta, was also present.

READ NEXT: Canada should accept Afghan Sikhs and Hindus as refugees, says Canada India Foundation

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