Dr. Vedapratap Vaidik
The deadly attack on the Gurudwara in Kabul’s Karte-Parwan has terrified the Sikhs in Afghanistan beyond description. Not many decades back millions of Sikhs happily inhabited the cities and villages of Afghanistan. Presently about 150 200 Sikh families survive and India has granted visa for 111 Sikhs, after the terrorist attack.
Some 50-55 years ago, when I was doing my research at Kabul University, I used to see that the Sikhs of Kabul, Kandahar, Herat and Jalalabad were wealthy and had enjoyed a posh and secure life. The Pathans, Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras treated Sikhs with great respect. Sikhs also used to be very proud of their being Afghans. When I asked an aged Sikh in Ghazni how long he has been living there, he said ever since Afghanistan came into existence. Such patriotic Sikhs are compelled to flee from Afghanistan. Is this not a matter of shame for that country?
But surprisingly the Taliban police, generally perceived as utter fundamentalists were seen guarding that Gurudwara and Khurasani Islamic State terrorists were attacking the same Gurudwara. A Sikh and a Taliban soldier were killed in the attack.
Earlier, dozens were killed in the attacks on the Gurudwaras of Jalalabad and Har Rai Sahib. The Taliban government in Afghanistan has given one lakh rupees each to the families of the dead in the Gurudwara attack. The government has also awarded one and a half lakh rupees for rebuilding the Gurudwara. This gesture of the present Afghan government explains the good will incumbent Taliban regime has towards India. The Indian government also has dispatched thousands of tons of wheat and medicines to Kabul to help the Afghan people during the Taliban rule.
The Government of India had sent a delegation led by J P Singh, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs, to Kabul to initiate steps to restart our embassy there. However India needs to be alert, keeping in mind the Gurudwara attack. This attack on the Gurudwara was said to be retaliation for the BJP spokesperson’s statement about the Prophet, but for the attacks in 2018 and 2020, there were no such provocations.
Earlier there were deadly attacks on our Embassy located in Shahre-Nav in Kabul and also on our laborers in the Zaranj-Dilaram road. Only Pakistan can explain who the real culprit in these attacks is and Pakistan will have to stop these terrorists from launching any such attack. In fact these assailants are bringing disrepute to Islam. Probably the assailants are annoyed at the Taliban coming closer to India .
*Dr. Vaidik is a widely travelled scholar-journalist. He has visited more than 80 countries on diplomatic and educational missions. Dr. Vaidik has won more than a dozen National and International awards for academic and journalistic excellence. He has been a member of several Advisory Committees of Government of India.