Jalalabad blast: Afghan President visits gurudwara, promises action against culprits
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday said the deadly attack targeting Sikhs and Hindus in the eastern city of Jalalabad will be thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators will face trial as he visited a gurudwara in Kabul and offered condolences to the minority community.
President Ghani visited the gurdwara in Kart-e-Parwan area of Kabul city and offered condolences to the Sikh community members, the office of the President, ARG Palace, said.
An Islamic State (IS) suicide bomber targeted a convoy of Sikhs and Hindus on their way to meet the Afghan president in Jalalabad on Sunday. At least 20 people, including 17 Sikhs, were killed in the attack. Avtar Singh Khalsa, a long-time leader of the Sikh community who had planned to run in the parliamentary elections set for October, was also killed in the blast.
“President Ghani called the attack a catastrophe and promised that the incident would be thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators would face trial for the crime,” the ARG said in a statement.
Calling the Sikh and Hindus communities the pride of the nation, Ghani said the government remains committed to support the Afghan Sikhs and Hindus.
At the Gurdwara, Surpal Singh thanked Ghani on behalf of the Afghan Sikh community for offering condolences.
On the occasion, Narendra Singh was appointed as new representative of the Hindus and Sikh minority in Afghanistan, Pajhwok reported.
Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai also visited the gurudwara to offer condolences for Sikhs who lost their lives in the terrorist attack.
“Visited our Sikh gurdwara to offer condolences for our Sikh brothers who lost their lives in a terrorist attack in Jalalabad. Remembered their lasting community services and love for our country. Prayed for their eternal rest,” Karzai tweeted along with the pictures of his visit.
Meanwhile, residents in Kabul staged a protest against the killing of Sikhs in Jalalabad.
The protesters carried banners and posters depicting the pictures of those killed in the attack. They slammed the Afghan government and demanded that the perpetrators must be brought to justice.