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The Sikh community under the Taliban

Broken promises and a vicious attack on Kabul's last remaining Gurdwara


15 Nov 2021

On August 15th, 2021, the Taliban took control of the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Following the takeover, they announced a general amnesty for the public, including the former security forces.

The next day on August 16th, a few members of the Taliban met with representatives of the Afghan Sikh and Hindu religious community at Gurdwara (temple) Karte Parwan, one of Kabul’s six Gurdwaras.

Taliban guaranteed the community would be safe in return for raising a ‘white flag’ to show that they accept the Taliban’s rule.

Despite the Taliban’s assurance of safety to the last few Sikhs remaining in Gurdwara Karte Parwan, in the afternoon of October 5th, around 20 gunmen entered the Gurdwara, tied up the guards and destroyed the CCTV cameras.

A video circulated on social media showing the gunmen who looked like Taliban.

The gunmen were inside the Gurdwara for half an hour.

They found and vandalized the room where the Taliban met with Sikhs on August 15th.

We verified video of the confrontation by cross referencing it with another video from the next day after the attack.

Sikhs have a recent history of being persecuted in Afghanistan. In late March 2020, the second last remaining Gurdwara in Shor Bazaar of Kabul was attacked by a suicide bombing that took the lives of 25 Sikhs.

ISIS claimed responsibility and following the attack, the Gurdwara in Shor Bazaar closed its doors.

The Sikhs in Afghanistan have faced discrimination and targeted killing over the past years, leading to the emigration of thousands of Sikhs & Hindus from Afghanistan.

Right now, out of six Gurdwaras in Kabul and two Hindu temples, only the Gurdwara Karte Parwan is open and shelters Sikhs and Hindus who have escaped Ghazni and Nangarhar due to the Taliban’s advance towards gaining territories in Afghanistan.

Now, the remaining Sikhs and Hindus of Afghanistan are asking the International Community to evacuate them because of the worsening situation for this religious minority group in Afghanistan.

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