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 September 11 were stopped by Taliban from taking the Guru Granth Sahib with them.

It is learnt that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan had restricted the departure of the holy books out of Afghanistan as they cited scriptures as the heritage of the country.

Following this, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Thursday condemned the move and asked the centre to intervene.

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

Dhami said that the Sikhs in Afghanistan were leaving the country because “they are not safe and when 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 decisions against the Sikhs.

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“Around 60 Afghan Sikhs were scheduled to land in New Delhi on September 11, but they could not. The reason is that the Afghan culture ministry refused to facilitate the departure of the religious scriptures out of Afghanistan for reasons best known to them,” President of Indian World Forum, Puneet Singh Chandhok said on Wednesday.

The officials of the Ministry informed the Sikh community in Kabul that an objection has been made by their Ministry of Information & Culture, thus conveying a ban on departure of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji out of Afghanistan until and unless the restricting ministry conveys its clearance, said Chandhok.

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