Sixty Afghan Sikhs prevented from flying to India, SGPC seeks centre intervention


Amritsar: A group of sixty Afghan Sikhs who were to leave for India on 9/11 were prevented by the Taliban from taking the Guru Granth Sahib with them.

The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs is understood to have restricted the shipment of holy books from Afghanistan, citing the scriptures as the country’s heritage.

Following this, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Thursday condemned the move and sought the Centre’s intervention.

Calling it a direct interference in the religious affairs of Sikhs, SGPC President Harjinder Singh Dhami sought the intervention of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of External Affairs.

Dhami said that the Sikhs of Afghanistan are leaving the country because “it is not safe and if the Sikhs do not stay in the country then who will take care of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji?”

The SGPC chief also appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and stop the Afghanistan government from taking anti-Sikh decisions.

“Around 60 Afghan Sikhs were supposed to land in New Delhi on 9/11 but could not. This is because the Afghan Ministry of Culture, for reasons best known to them, has refused to allow the religious scriptures to leave Afghanistan,” India World Forum President Puneet Singh Chandhok said on Wednesday.

Ministry officials have informed the Sikh community in Kabul that their Ministry of Information and Culture has raised an objection, barring Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji from leaving Afghanistan until permission is given by the Ministry of Restrictions. Chandhok said.

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