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Archive for August, 2014

Source: Hindustan Times

A Sikh leader in Afghanistan said on Monday that he was trying to contact families over reports that 35 stowaways found in a shipping container in Britain were from the tiny, persecuted community.

“I am urgently seeking more information,” Rawel Singh, a prominent leader of Afghanistan’s Sikh community, told AFP.

Rawel, vice-president of the Hindu and Sikh Council of Afghanistan, said only a few thousand Sikhs remained in Afghanistan, a sharp drop from before the civil war in the 1990s.

Many of those remaining complain of brutal persecution in a Muslim-majority country that has been ravaged by decades of war.

“Our rights are trampled and we are treated badly by the Afghan people,” Rawel said.
“We are discriminated against, our children cannot attend school, and our land has been stolen. Therefore, many Sikhs are forced to flee Afghanistan.”

Afghan Sikhs and Hindus often live in the same communities in Kabul, Jalalabad and Kandahar, working as labourers or in the clothes and traditional medicine businesses, said Rawel.

He said most Sikhs who had recently left Afghanistan headed for Australia and Russia rather than Britain.

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Source:  Sikh 24 .com

British Sikh campaigners say the arrival of Sikh Afghan civilians at the UK’s Tilbury Docks in a container (east side of London) represents a potent example of continuing and chronic jihadi persecution of minority communities in Afghanistan.

British Sikh campaigners are urging the British Prime Minister to match his rhetoric on fighting jihadism, by directly intervening on the case of these 35 Sikhs – one of whom has died in the process of the agonising struggle to get to the safety of the UK.

Tens of thousands of Afghan Sikhs have fled to the UK and other parts of Europe, over the course of the last 15- years.

Campaigners say there is a grave danger of the 35 Sikhs being treated purely as illegal immigrants linked to ‘human trafficking,’ rather than as genuine victims of persecution.  Jagdeesh Singh of SCAN says, “If the persecution is ignored, this will be damning injustice.”

Jagdeesh Singh says,

Early media reports keep using the phrase ‘human trafficking’, but fail to contextualise and grasp the situation of Sikhs in Afghanistan.

It will be highly negligent and dubious if the UK authorities fail to consider the overwhelming persecution and ethnic cleansing factor.

Sikhs, along with Hindus and Buddhists, have been direct and whole-scale victims of the horrifying Taliban Jihad warfare on non-Muslim minorities and communities in Afghanistan.

Over the last 15-years, with the gruesome onset of Taliban rule and an unsuppressable Talibanistic presence across much of Afghanistan, Sikh be-headings, kidnappings, destruction of Sikh homes and Gurdwaras has become a routine experience.

Despite officially opposing the Taliban menace, the official Afghan government has abjectly failed to protect mainstream Afghan civilians and long-settled communities like the Sikhs. The long-established Sikh population have now been ethnically cleansed whole-scale from Afghanistan.

Campaigners say, “These arrivals represent the last desperate remnants of an already heavily terrorised and  fleeing Sikh population. They deserve the same support and protection as the Yazidi and Christians of Iraq.”

The Sikh community have over centuries in their home country of Punjab been direct victims of Islamic jihadism. The Sikhs have risen as a community during the 15-18th century, as a frontline resistance to jihadi invasions and impositions across northern India and surrounding regions of South Asia.

Jagdeesh Singh says,

We have had a vicious and genocidal experience of jihadism down the centuries. We can speak as first-hand victims of mass jihadism across our home country. We were the most resolute and determined opposition to jihadism under Mughal rule and from Afghanistan. We became famous for our robust and heroic fight against jihadism including defeat of Afghan-Pathaan fanatics, and our emergence as an independent people and state from such a gruelling liberation struggle.

We have a lot to teach and share with the world about jihadi persecution.

 

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Source: Punjabi

17th August, 2014By Reet Virk

Click here to listen to the audio segment

 

 

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