The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has expressed deep concern over the atrocities being committed on the Sikh community by members of the Taliban in the tribal areas of Afghanistan.
In a communiqué to external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar has urged her to take up this issue with the Afghanistan government at the diplomatic level. “The government in Kabul should be called upon to take effective measures for protecting the life and property of Sikhs, many of whom settled in that country during the period of Maharaja Ranit Singh,” he added.
Makkar quoted the recent case of the kidnapping of a Sikh ‘haqim’ (physician) by an extremist group owing allegiance to the Taliban in Mudhare Sharif, a small town located in the tribal areas. The kidnappers cut off the Sikh’s hair and released him only after other members of the Sikh community had paid a ransom.
The SGPC chief urged the Union minister to take up the security concerns of the Afghanistan-based Sikhs with the government of that country. “The number of cases against Sikhs is on the rise,” he added.