Some members of Sikh community in Afghanistan is considering relocating to India after at least 13 of its members were killed in a terrorist attack in Jalalabad on Sunday, but another some wants to stay put.
The Sikh community now numbers fewer than 300 families in Afghanistan, which was home to about 250,000 Sikhs and Hindus before the 1990s.
Few members of the community sought shelter at the Indian consulate in Jalalabad after the attack whose victims included Avtar Singh Khalsa, the only Sikh candidate for the parliamentary elections to be held in October, and Rawail Singh, a prominent community activist.
Vinay Kumar, India’s Ambassador to Afghanistan had earlier met the group of Sikhs who were targeted on Sunday, and the Indian government is helping organise the last rites of the Sikhs killed in the blast.
India has issued long-term visas to members of Afghanistan’s Sikh and Hindu communities and they can stay in India indefinitely. However, some mem of the Sikh community do not plan to leave, as they consider Afghanistan home.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “We strongly condemn the terror attacks in Afghanistan yesterday..They are an attack on Afghanistan’s multicultural fabric. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. I pray that the injured recover soon. India stands ready to assist the Afghanistan government in this sad hour. The attack targeted Afghanistan’s multicultural fabric.”