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Editorial: Enemies’ victory to alienate Afghan Sikhs

For the past few decades, Afghanistan hasn’t been safe for any of its citizens, especially the religious and ethnic minorities. The emergence of radical terrorist groups in the past few years further added to their miseries, thanks to the Taliban for facilitating hotbed for such factions. Last month, the Daesh or so-called ISIS, one of the most extremist proxy outfits in the country, wreaked havoc on the Sikh community in Kabul as their Gurdwara was stormed, leaving 25 people, including women and children, dead. Lamentably, due to the failure of the government to provide adequate security and constant victimization of these people, the handful number of fed-up Sikh families left in Afghanistan has asked the Indian government for their immediate evacuation from the war-torn country. At least 650 – around 80 families – Sikhs have still been receiving threatening calls from the militant outfit to either leave the country or face the consequences, meaning Afghanistan’s enemies were finally able to alienate our Sikh brothers. Meanwhile, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) informed of arresting ISIS leader for Afghanistan, Aslam Farooqi, who is said to have masterminded the Gurdwara attack, along with his 19 associates. Surprisingly, Mawlawi Abdullah alias Farooqi was a former commander of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, which is headquartered in Pakistan. As Afghan intelligence had stated earlier that the assault was hatched outside Afghan borders along with the fact that one of the attackers spoke in Urdu, it means our neighboring country has no intent to shun playing hypocrite games with Afghans. The country ostensibly shows off as if it’s fighting terrorist outfits and that it bears goodwill towards Afghans while in fact, it continues to host such groups and then use them to achieve its nefarious designs and interests outside of the country. This hypocrisy came at a price that Afghan Sikhs are compelled to abandon the country as anonymous calls still threaten them to evacuate Afghanistan within ten days or be ready for another attack. Unfortunately, the massive letdown is for the Afghan security forces for failing to detect such horrendous attacks waged by enemies of the state. It seems as the government has failed to protect the rights of minorities, whereas the enemies have been victorious in disrupting pluralistic Afghanistan, a multi-ethnic society where people’s values were once respected and cherished – something which is a considerable loss for Afghanistan indeed at the hands of terrorist organizations sheltered by Pakistan.

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