The attack on the Sikh temple carries all the hallmarks of Tehrik-i-Taliban. Meanwhile, the Ashraf Ghani government has blamed the Pakistan-backed Haqqani network for the terror attack …. Reports Asian Lite News
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Union Ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri condemn the attack on a Gurdwara in Kabul in which at least 20 people were killed.
“Horrific news coming from Kabul where a barbaric terror attack happened in the Gurudwara Guru Har Rai. It’s extremely tragic and unfortunate. Request (Afghanistan) President @Ashraf Ghani Ji to find out the perpetrators and look after our people,” Singh tweeted.
The attack on the Sikh temple carries all the hallmarks of Tehrik-i-Taliban. The Ashraf Ghani government has blamed the Pakistan-backed Haqqani network for the terror attack.
Condemning the ghastly attack, Union Minister and Bathinda MP, Harsimrat Kaur Badal said she requests External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to issue immediate instructions to the Indian High Commission to ensure the safety of the Sikhs. “Shocked to learn about a ghastly terror attack at Gurdwara Sahib in #Kabul. I request EAM @DrS Jaishankar Ji to issue imm instructions to the Indian High Comm in Afghanistan to ensure the safety of our Sikh brethren trapped there..,” she tweeted.
Meanwhile, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal also condemned the barbaric attack and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take up the issue of safety of the Sikh community with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani urgently.
In a statement here, the SAD President said as per initial reports four persons had been killed even as more than 150 Sikhs were holed up in the gurdwara complex. “These people need to be rescued even as quick action needs to be taken to bring to justice those responsible for this cowardly and ghastly act,” he said.
Reacting to the terror attack, India’s Housing and Urban Minister and a former diplomat Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday tweeted, “Suicide attack on a Gurudwara Sahib in Kabul needs to be strongly condemned. These killings are a grim reminder of atrocities that continue to be inflicted upon religious minorities in some countries and the urgency with which their lives and religious freedom have to be safeguarded.”
“Pakistan is supporting Taliban to attack Sikhs on prayer at Gurudwara because they want to divert media attention from the Corona shambles in the country,” said Gurjeet Singh in Kabul. “At one hand they are opening Kartarpur Gurudwara to showcase the religious harmony image to the whole world, on the other hand they are supporting terror on Sikhs to teach India a lesson. Taliban and its political masters in Pakistan must be brought to justice at international court in Geneva for crimes against humanity.”
Meanwhile, the Taliban militant group distanced itself from the attack.
“Today’s attack in Kabul city’s Shorbazar area has nothing to do with the mujahidin of the Islamic Emirate (as the Taliban fighters call themselves),” its spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid wrote on Twitter.
Religious minorities in the Muslim-majority country of Afghanistan have often come under attack from Islamist extremist groups. Suicide bombers of the Islamic State militant group in 2018 targeted a group from the Sikh community and killed 19 people, including its leader Awtar Singh Khalsa, in Jalalabad. Khalsa, who had announced his candidature for the parliamentary elections, and other members of the Sikh community were in Jalalabad to meet Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
More than four decades of armed conflict in Afghanistan has forced thousands of Hindus and Sikhs to seek refuge in other countries, especially India.
The violence and strong social and religious discrimination have drastically reduced the number of Sikhs in Afghanistan to around 1,500 from some 200,000 30 years ago.
The attack comes a day after the United States declared that it was cutting its aid to the Afghan government by $1 billion amid a political crisis between President Ghani and chief executive Abdullah Abdullah triggered by alleged fraud in last year’s presidential polls.
The political feud has delayed the formation of a government-sponsored team to negotiate with the Taliban for intra-Afghan peace talks which were scheduled to kick off by March 10.
The US on February 29 reached an agreement with the Taliban for a roadmap to pull out American troops from the war-ravaged country. The plan was to start with the withdrawal of 8,600 soldiers within 135 days from the date of the signing of the deal. Currently, some 14,000 US troops remain deployed in the country.
However, the insurgents and the government remain deadlocked over an agreement regarding the swapping of prisoners, which was a part of the US-Taliban accord and considered crucial for the commencement of the intra-Afghan talks.