“Sikhs are leaving Afghanistan. We have several historical Gurdwaras there. Who will take care of them? So we have decided to send Sikh jathas to Afghanistan to perform sewa in these Gurdwaras,” said Nankana Sahib Sikh Yatree Jatha president Swaran Singh Gill on Thursday.
Thirty-five Afghan Sikhs, including 13 children, were recently found in a shipping container in the UK’s Tilbury docks. The Sikhs from Afghanistan were forced to leave their country following harassment by the Taliban.
Gill said he had written to both the home ministry and the Afghanistan embassy urging to grant them permission to send an 11-member Sikh jatha to Afghanistan before they leave for Pakistan to celebrate the birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji in November.
Acting president of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee Bishan Singh told TOI over phone from Lahore on Thursday that there were historical Gurdwaras in Kabul, Jalalabad and Ghzani in Afghanistan.
During his way back from Mecca,Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji had traveled through Afghanistan and had held discourses with Muslim holy saints in Kabul. He said the migration of Sikhs was due to their discrimination and persecution. He said around two decade ago, there were more than 225,000 Sikh populated in Afghanistan which has now come down to only a few thousand. There was a sizable number of Sikhs in Ghazni but many of them had migrated to Pakistan or India.
Gill also said he would also meet officials of home ministry and Afghanistan embassy in Delhi to expedite the matter.