AMRITSAR: Sikh groups here have volunteered to perform sewa at gurdwaras in Afghanistan after the recent spate of migration of the community following their persecution by Taliban.
“Sikhs are leaving Afghanistan. We have several historical gurdwaras there. Who will take care of them? So, we have decided to send Sikh jatha to Afghanistan to perform sewa in gurdwaras,” said Nankana Sahib Sikh Yatree Jatha president Swaran Singh Gill on Thursday.
Thirty-five Afghan Sikhs, including 13 children, were recently found in a shipping container in UK’s Tilbury docks. The Sikhs from Afghanistan were forced to leave their country following harassment by Taliban.
Gill said he had written to both home ministry and Afghanistan embassy urging to grant permission to send an 11-member Sikh jatha to Afghanistan before they leave for Pakistan to celebrate the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev in November.
Acting president of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee Bishan Singh told TOI over phone from Lahore on Thursday that there were historical gurdwaras in Kabul, Jalalabad and Ghzani in Afghanistan.
During his way back from Mecca, Guru Nanak Dev had traveled through Afghanistan and had held discourses with Muslim holy saints in Kabul. He said the migration of Sikhs was due to their discrimination and persecution. He said around two decade ago, there were more than 2.25 lakh Sikh population in Afghanistan which has now come down to a few thousands only. There was a sizeable number of Sikhs in Ghazni but many of them had migrated to Pakistan or India.
Gill also said he would also meet officials of home ministry and Afghanistan embassy in Delhi to expedite the matter.
~ Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com