25 Canadian MP’s write to Canadian immigration minister to bring Afghan Sikhs and Hindu to Canada

AMRITSAR: After facilitating return of first batch of Sikhs from Afghanistan by India, twenty five Canadian Member of Parliaments (MP) have written to Canadian immigration minister Marco Mendicino calling for a special program for Afghan Sikh and Hindu refugees so that they can be brought back safely to Canada.
The letter written by 16 Conservative Party of Canada (CPC), 6 New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) and 3 Green Party expresses “concern about the existential threat to religious minorities in Afghanistan, specifically, the Sikhs and Hindus.”
The MP’s have also mentioned about March 25th , 2020 terrorists attack at Gurdwara Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib in Kabul in which 25 Sikhs worshippers including four-year-old Tania Kaur were killed . The MP’s also mentioned about the abduction of sehajdhari Sikh Nidan Singh and 13 years old girl Salmeet Kaur besides July 18 Jalalabad attack wherein 19 people had died.
Notably 11 Sikhs including Nidan and Salmeet had arrived India on Saturday .
Stating that Afghanistan’s Sikh and Hindu communities face a threat to their very existence, the MP’s said that the minority communities which once numbered over 200,000 had now dwindled to less than 800 due to decades of persecution.
“Only those families remain that do not have the means to relocate elsewhere” said the MP’s
In light of the immediate threat faced by these communities, the Canadian MP’s have asked Marco to create a special program for Afghan Sikh and Hindu refugees under 25.2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, so that they could be brought to safety in Canada while giving example that 1 of 5 such a program has been created for other vulnerable groups including Tibetan and Syrian refugees in the past.
In wake of travel restrictions due to Covid-19, the Canadian MP’s have asked Canada can make a commitment to help these vulnerable refugees and ensure they are brought to safety as soon as is practically possible.
Notably, members of the Sikh community in Canada have offered to privately sponsor these refugees and bear all the costs of these sponsorships.
Meanwhile, the World Sikh Organzation (WSO ) president Tejinder Singh told TOI that they were grateful to the MPs that had called on immigration minister Marco Mendicino for a special program to bring Afghan Sikhs and Hindus to safety in Canada.
Balpreet Singh of WSO said that WSO along with the Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation and the Canadian Sikh community had consistently called on the Canadian government to assist Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan, as Afghan authorities have been unable to offer meaningful protection of their basic human rights.

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