By Tan Ong – June 8th 2011 – Source
Afghanistan (CHAKRA) — On a two day visit to Afghanistan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, met members of the Afghan-Sikh minority community in Kabul. He listened to their issues with regards to obtaining Indian citizenship and other problems the Sikh community was facing such as threats and killings in Muslim-majority Afghanistan.
To hear the problems, the Prime Minister met members of the community in the presidential palace complex.
The community members stated their concern about their community’s population decreasing because of migration out of the country, including India. Over 90 percent of the Sikh Afghan community has migrated out of the country.
The lack of a proper cremation ground in Kabul and constant attacks by Islamic extremists has caused an issue for the Sikh community to complete their funeral rites.
In total there are 531 Afghan-Sikh families in Afghanistan of which 143 families reside in Kabul.
An orange-coloured “robe of honour” was presented to the prime minister, know as a siropa. Thereafter, the prime minister was introduced to members of the Indian embassy, the Indo-Tibetan border police, as well as to the Indian Medical Mission.
Manmohan Singh praised the community for staying strong during hard times. He saluted their courage and was pleased to see the community creating goodwill for India.