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Stranded Sikhs, Hindus safe in Afghanistan: Akali leader

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Stranded Sikhs, Hindus safe in Afghanistan: Akali leader
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A video statement was shared late Wednesday night by a Taliban spokesperson

New Delhi: A video statement by the head of a Kabul gurudwara that Akali Dal and Taliban shared on Wednesday assured the safety of Sikhs and Hindus stranded in Afghanistan, reports NDTV.

A spokesperson for the Political Office of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee president, Manjinder Singh Sirsa tweeted the video which was part of the Al Jazeera news report.

Manjinder Singh Sirsa, of Akali Dal, also said that he was in regular touch with the Kabul gurudwara, and the Taliban leaders met Hindus and Sikhs as well as assured them safety.

The 76-second footage show some men, believed to be Taliban members, visiting a gurdwara and speaking to Sikhs who took refuge inside. The video also includes a statement from the president, in Pashto, of the Gurudwara Committee. But it is not clear that the Sikhs from the video are from that gurudwara.

M Naeem, the spokesperson for the Taliban, tweeted with the footage that the heads of Sikhs and Indians in Kabul assure they are safe and secure. They were anxious about their lives and property earlier, but he said there are no more problems.

The Taliban's came back to power in Afghanistan, post the US pulling out its troops, the humanitarian crisis escalated again after 20 years. As the country fell into turmoil, help was sought for around 200 Sikhs in a Kabul gurudwara. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had appealed for them. He had called for an immediate evacuation of stranded Indians, including the Sikhs after the Taliban took over the country. He said that his government is ready to extend any help needed to ensure their safe evacuation.

On Tuesday, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri promised to bring the Sikhs back home as soon as possible, while foreign minister S Jaishankar said that the government is closely watching the situation in Afghanistan. The latter added that airport operations are the main challenge, and the government is in touch with Sikh and Hindu community leaders in Kabul.

Earlier this week, the government had said that Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan would prioritise those who wish to leave the country and come back to India.

In Afghanistan, President Ashraf Ghani had fled while the Taliban took Kabul's control without any opposition. The terrorist group had captured Afghan's major cities in just ten days after 20 years of wars that took millions of lives.

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TAGS:Stranded Sikhs Hindus Afghanistan Akali leader 
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