Tue, 29 Nov 2022

New Delhi [India], September 25 (ANI): Afghan Hindu and Sikh Association in Dubai United Arab Emirates has written to the government seeking e-visas for India, and thanked India's efforts in helping the distressed Afghan minorities in the Taliban-led nation.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kartar Singh and Goshi Chand of the Afghan Hindu and Sikh Association UAE, said, "At the outset, we thank the Government of India for undertaking proactive steps for the welfare of Afghanistan and in particular for the minorities living there."The letter further mentioned that the Afghan national Hindus and Sikhs living in the United Arab Emirates have wide International travel history including long-term visas for India too.

But after the Taliban took over Afghanistan last year, all the valid visas issued by the consulate in Dubai were invalidated overnight.

"After that, we applied for an emergency e-visa with the Ministry of Home Affairs but till date, none of these applications has been granted. There have been emotional circumstances where our close family members such as our father or mother passed away in India and the family couldn't attend or perform the last right due to non-issuance of e-visas. We do have businesses and investments Including estate in India and maintaining the same has been affected due to this," the letter mentioned.

Kartar Singh and Goshi Chand requested the government to consider and grant the e-visa and ease and grant Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) and Indian Citizenship to the Afghan Hindu and Sikh in Dubai through a single window facility.

They said that the Afghan Hindu and Sikh Community is living in the United Arab Emirates since 1980, has actively contributed to the local economy and also has investments and families living in India.

"Many members of our community have been recognized by the local authorities here and granted prestigious golden visas too.""India is our backbone and our primary home as no other country has ever facilitated distressed Afghan minorities at the highest level like your leadership," they said hailing India's efforts to evacuate and rehabilitate the Afghan minorities refugees.

In line, around 55 Afghan Sikh refugees including 38 adults, 14 children and 3 infants fled from Afghanistan today in a special flight number 315 operated by Ariana Afghan and organised by the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandak Committee, Amritsar.

Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandak Committee in coordination with the Indian World Forum and the Government of India is facilitating the evacuation of distressed minorities from the Islamic nation.

68 Afghan Hindus and Sikhs have arrived till date after the attack at Gurudwara Karte Parwan in Kabul. SGPC is bearing the airfare for the same.

Indian World Forum has coordinated and facilitated humanitarian evacuation for more than 300 Afghan Hindus and Sikhs post the regime change in Kabul. There were about 700 Hindus and Sikhs in Afghanistan in 2020, but a large number of them left the country following the Taliban's takeover on August 15, 2021.

On June 18 this year, Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) attacked Karte Parwan Gurdwara in Kabul which claimed the lives of about 50 people.

In October, last year 15 to 20 terrorists entered a Gurdwara in the Kart-e-Parwan District of Kabul and tied up the guards.

In March 2020, a deadly attack took place at Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib Gurudwara in Kabul's Short Bazaar area in which 27 Sikhs were killed and several were injured. Islamic State terrorists claimed responsibility for the attack. (ANI)

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