July 27, 2020
The Honourable Marco Mendicino, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship
The Honourable Francois-Phillipe Champagne, P.C., M.P.
OPEN LETTER: FOLLOW-UP ON IMMIGRATION MEASURES FOR SIKH AND HINDU COMMUNITIES IN AFGHANISTAN
Minister Mendicino and Minister Champagne,
I am writing to join my voice with the concerns raised by the World Sikh Organization (WSO) regarding religious minorities being persecuted in Afghanistan, specifically Sikhs and Hindus. Their lives are constantly at risk as they are being targeted for attack, abduction and extortion by extremist groups in the region, such as ISIS Khorasan (ISIS-K).
As noted by the WSO, on March 25, 2020, ISIS-K terrorists attacked Gurdwara Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib in Kabul and murdered 25 Sikhs, including four-year-old Tania Kaur. At the funeral for the victims of this attack, a second attack was initiated involving the detonation of an explosive device. Earlier, in July 2018, the senior leadership of the Sikh and Afghan communities was assassinated in a suicide bombing that took 19 lives in Jalalabad. In June 2020, an Afghan Sikh, Nidan Singh Sachdeva, was abducted from a gurdwara and tortured for weeks. That was followed on July 17 by the abduction of 13-year-old Salmeet Kaur who was kidnapped from a Kabul gurdwara where she was living with her blind mother and younger brother. Salmeet’s father was killed in the March attack. ISIS-K has sworn to exterminate all Afghan Sikhs and Hindus if they do not leave Afghanistan.