Even after the promises made for peace in Afghanistan, different reports showing atrocities on the part of the Taliban is questionable. As per the reports, Taliban has warned the Afghan Sikh community to make a choice between “converting to Sunni Islam or leaving the country”.
The Afghan Sikh Community is already in a dire situation and is being attacked continuously. Larger population of Sikhs live in Kabul while some in Ghazni and Nangarhar.
“The community, which once numbered in the tens of thousands, has been ruined and devastated by years of emigration and death, driven by both systemic discrimination and an uptick in fanatical religious violence in Afghanistan,” said International Forum For Rights and Security (IFFRAS).
On October 15 this month, over 15 to 20 terrorists entered a Gurudwara and tied the hands of the guards. The incident took place in Kabul’s Kart-e-Parwan district.
This is not the first time that Sikh community is being attacked in Afghanistan.
Persecution of Sikhs In Afghanistan
1947 – Sikhs flee towards India due to partition of the Indian sub-continent and the attacks on the Sikh community.
1980 – During the Afghan Soviet War, Sikhs were mistreated by the local majority community.
1982 – Gurudwaras (Sikh temples) were destroyed.
1989 – During the battle of Jalalabad, Sikhs’ places of worship were destroyed all over the country.
1996 – Sikhs used to wear yellow patches on their shoulders under the regime of Taliban and to show their faith.
1996-2001 – Sharia law was imposed even on the Sikh community and they had to follow it under the Taliban regime. The Sikh community had to pay Jizya tax (tax paid by non-Muslim populations to their Muslim rulers as a protection fee). Cremation as per the Sikh religion was prohibited in the country.
2007-2010 – Sikh community was assaulted for cremation. In 2007, a Muslim mob thrashed the grieving Sikhs during the cremation of a community leader. The majority community also used to disrupt and steal cremation grounds of Sikhs and Hindus.
2012 – City development authority threatened the community to destroy the last Gurudwara and shrine of Guru Nank.
2018 – 10 Sikhs were killed during the Jalalabad attack.
2020 – An Indian Muslim from Kerala, who joined ISIS, killed 25 Sikhs. The community was threatened to leave the country while they were burying their loved ones.
Under the Constitution, only Afghan Muslims have political rights and non- Muslims (Sikhs, Hindus, Jews, Christians) are not allowed to become the president.