Friday July 13, 2007 (0252 PST)
NEW YORK,: A Washington-based Hindu Human Rights advocacy group has urged the governments of Britain and Germany not to force Afghan Hindu and Sikh refugees to return to Afghanistan. The third annual report of the Hindu America Foundation HAF — also urged the US to impress upon British and German Governments to stop involuntary deportation of Hindu refugees from these countries.
The situation in Afghanistan has improved considerably under the government of President Hamid, but conditions are still not conducive enough for Hindu and Sikh minorities to return to their homes, Ramesh Rao of the HAF said. Referring to portions of the report on Afghanistan, Rao alleged Britain and Germany were forcing Afghan Hindu and Sikh refugees to return as, according to them, things had improved. But this is not the reality, he claimed.
There are no facilities to provide restitution and resettlements of Afghan Hindus, were they to return from exile. The resurgence of the Taliban further renders the Hindu population vulnerable, the report argued. According to the document, Hindu temples destroyed by Taliban have not been rebuilt and several are occupied by Muslim groups leaving nearly no Hindu institutions or places of worship accessible to the minority.
Existing Hindu temples and institutions in Afghanistan must be restored and rehabilitated, the HAF demanded. It said Hindus did not send their children to public schools in Afghanistan for fear of persecution and ridicule.