Sikhs taking refuge at Kabul gurdwara angry at two MPs for ‘leaving them behind’
Sikhs taking a refuge at Gurdwara Singh Sabha Karte Parwan at Kabul are enraged over their leaders, Anarkali Kaur Honaryar and Narender Pal Singh, who are MPs in Afghanistan, for leaving them behind overnight to fly to India.
Both the MPs were among the 24 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus who were safely airlifted along with other Indian nationals by the Indian Air Force (IAF) from Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, on Sunday morning. Other Afghan Sikhs evacuated are said to be relatives and close associates of both the parliamentarians. While 24 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus have been evacuated, around 260 Sikhs and Hindus are still waiting to be airlifted.
“They (MPs) have solved their purpose, but they did not take care of us. They should have ensured evacuation of other community members first,” said a Sikh, who was part of the group that was not allowed by Taliban to board the evacuation flight of India on Friday and Saturday.
Another Sikh said: “The way the MPs have left the country was not fair and the sangat is not happy with them.”
However, some other members of the minority communities are hoping that they will also be evacuated soon. “We have been told by Gurdwara Karta-E-Parwan president Gurnam Singh that he is in contact with some officials and representatives of international organisations and we will also be evacuated soon,” said another Sikh.
“We convinced them to let us save their lives first. Very painful to leave behind your legacy, business and become a refugee,” said Vikramjit Singh Sahney, philanthropist and World Punjabi Organisation (WPO) president, as 168 Afghanistan evacuees reach India.
Meanwhile, United Sikhs, the Supreme Sikh Society of New Zealand and the Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar (GGND), London, UK, wrote to the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern urging her to resettle Afghan Sikhs and Hindus, who are fleeing the country.
“We have chosen to write to you because of your reputation and track record for swinging into action where only eagles dare, an attribute admired by all,” was stated in the letter, signed by Mejindarpal Kaur, international legal director of the United Sikhs, Jaswinder Singh Nagra, president of the SSSNZ and Davinder Singh, trustee of GGND.