India condemns abduction of Sikh community leader in Afghanistan
Nedan Singh was kidnapped by unidentified persons in Tsamkani district of Paktia province in eastern Afghanistan last week. He was employed as a helper at a gurdwara.Updated: Jun 22, 2020 20:30 IST
India on Monday condemned the abduction of a Sikh community leader in Afghanistan and said the targeting and persecution of minorities by “terrorists at the behest of their external supporters” is a matter of concern.
Nedan Singh was kidnapped by unidentified persons in Tsamkani district of Paktia province in eastern Afghanistan last week. He was employed as a helper at a gurdwara.
External affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “We strongly condemn the abduction of Mr Nedan Singh, a leader of the Hindu and Sikh community of Afghanistan by terrorists.
“The targeting and persecution of minority community members by terrorists at the behest of their external supporters is a matter of grave concern.”
Srivastava didn’t name any country for being behind the abduction though his remarks pointed the finger at Pakistan, which has long been accused by India of backing terror groups active in Afghanistan.
“India is in touch with the government of Afghanistan for ensuring the safety, security and well-being of the minority community in Afghanistan. We hope that the government of Afghanistan would be able to secure safe and early release of Mr Nedan Singh,” Srivastava added.
The abduction comes months after nearly 30 members of the Sikh minority were killed in a terror attack on a place of worship in Kabul on March 25. That attack was claimed by the Islamic State though officials have said the Haqqani Network and Lashkar-e-Taiba were linked to the deadly assault.
Afghanistan’s Sikh minority has dwindled to a few hundred families after being targeted by the Taliban and other groups in recent decades.