Did Sikh Man’s Abduction Trigger India’s Decision?

‘CAA is Very Much Necessary’: BJP

The Ministry of External Affairs in a statement on Saturday, 18July, said, “We convey our appreciation to the Government of Afghanistan and tribal elders from the area, whose efforts secured the return of Mr Nidan Singh. The targeting and persecution of minority community members by terrorists at the behest of their external supporters remains a matter of grave concern.”

The decision comes months after the Government of India introduced the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, which cleared the path for religious minorities of Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian who have fled persecution in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan before December 2014 to obtain Indian Citizenship.

The amendment had led to widespread protests in India. Critiquing ‘liberals’ and ‘Khalistani elements’ for remaining silent on attacks against Sikh minorities in Afghanistan, BJP National Secretary RP Singh said incidents like these show why the CAA is required.

Back in India, the Sikh community has welcomed the move, which they say will ensure their safety and security.

“Today India reiterated a decision to facilitate the travel of Hindu and Sikh community members, those who have been facing security threats in Afghanistan. I personally appreciate India’s move on it. Afghanistan is one of the closest neighbours for India which has assured safety of sacred places of worship of Hindus and Afghans and also safety of the community members but as India said they continue to face persecution by terrorists at the behest of their external supporters. India did not name any country but the entire world knows who are the supporters of terrorism in the region,” Sikh Affairs Expert and senior journalist Ravinder Singh Robin told this journalist.

“Moreover, most of the Afghan Hindu and Sikh families have relatives who have already shifted to India and are settled here. India has now made preparations to help bring these families and give them a safe shelter from the continuous cycle of violence, bloodshed and threat of terror,” he added.

The effort was to radicalise and give arms training to Sikh youth against India in the name of Khalistan indoctrination. For now, Pakistan ISI’s attempt to trap the Sikh community has failed, as the persecuted Sikh have chosen to seek refuge in India. The systematic persecution and terror against the minorities, however, is far from over.

(Aditya Raj Kaul has a decade-long experience in covering conflict, internal security and foreign policy for various national media outlets. He tweets at @AdityaRajKaul.)

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