Immediate Action is needed from the U.S. and allies
New York,New York, April 27, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- After the terrorist attacks on March 25, 2020 in Har Rai Sahib Kabul Gurdwara, the Sikh Diaspora moved swiftly to condemn the persons, organizations and governments responsible. UNITED SIKHS immediately asked the United States to take action and protect religious freedoms. Within moments of the cowardly attacks against women and children;UNITED SIKHS rallied support from the international community, the U.S. Administration, Afghanistan authorities and Sikh Afghans on the ground to ensure that these attacks do not happen again.
ISIS has taken responsibility for multi-day terrorist shootings that left more than 50 people dead. On March 28th, after back to back days of terrorist attacks directed at the Sikh community; Afghanistan immediately issued by decree a 10-day ultimatum for Sikhs to leave the country. The choices given were to convert, flee the country or face further attacks until all Sikhs are dead or gone. These threats are being taken seriously by UNITED SIKHS and have deemed the decree or fatwa as an affront to the Sikh Nation.
UNITED SIKHS strongly asserts that the Islamic state attacks that took place in retaliation to the Feb. 2020 US/NATO/Coalition - Taliban agreement, the March military withdrawal and the withholding of aid to Afghanistan contributed to this violent and deadly outburst.
UNITED SIKHS started their campaign in the U.S. with the State Department and the American Sikh Caucus Committee to bring the Afghan Sikhs and Hindus to a safe haven. Wanda Sanchez, Chief Legal Counsel and Acting Legal Director said, "President Trump’s commitment and resolve to protect religious freedoms around the world is at this moment being tested. Sikhs, Hindus and other ethno-religious and religious groups, who during the past 18 years were protected by the United States’, NATO’s military and Coalition forces. That presence of stability has now come under terrorist attacks in the area after the February 2020 agreement with the Taliban. The agreement should now rightfully include protections for these minorities who were supporters during the occupation. Those protections should include granting refugee status and political asylum. The protections should also not be undermined by the administration's internal, protective, immigration agenda.”
The day after the first attack, UNITED SIKHS began working on obtaining security and safety for Sikhs in Afghanistan. UNITED SIKHS has partnered with the American Sikh Caucus Committee to move the issue of their safety and their migration forward. Harpreet Singh Sandhu, Executive Director, American Sikh Caucus said, "UNITED SIKHS was the first organization to reach out after the incident and we immediately reached out to the members of the Sikh Caucus. Our team quickly made contact with Congressmen , John Garamendi, Jim Acosta, Eliot Engel, House Foreign Affair, Senator Dick Durban and several international bodies of governance." Sandhu also added, "We are thankful to Congressman Jim Acosta and others we have personally asked to assist with this urgent issue."
Gurvinder Singh, International Humanitarian Aid Director said, " Numerous discussions have taken place in which multiple options were discussed with the State Department by UNITED SIKHS . Sam Brownback, Ambassador on Religious Freedoms has been key in having a direct dialogue with India and Pakistan. We now call upon President Trump, to order an executive action to provide safe harbor to Sikh Afghans in the USA immediately. UNITED SIKHS is thankful to Ambassador Sam Brownback and the Afghanistan government in enhancing their immediate security. We hope the U.S. can keep the minority community safe from further attacks.”
The future for Afghan Sikhs is dim and changing daily. The wishes of the Afghan Sikhs and Hindus is towards India as a first choice because of extended families residing in India. If India cannot accommodate them, then Pakistan as an interim country to apply as refugees to Canada, UK and the United States.
UNITED SIKHS, Executive Director Jagdeep Singh, reported, “ Humanitarian crises such as the one recently endured by Afghan Sikhs should not be mistaken as someone else’s problem. Left unchecked in any country, these types of massacres manifest themselves in other parts of the world. ”
UNITED SIKHS will continue to work with the United Nations, and other world governments and Sikhs in Afghanistan by providing necessary advocacy and humanitarian needs towards their resettlement in other countries.
About UNITED SIKHS: UNITED SIKHS is a U.N. affiliated, international non-profit, non-governmental, humanitarian relief, human development and advocacy organization, aimed at empowering those in need, especially disadvantaged and minority communities across the world. UNITED SIKHS is registered: as a non-profit tax exempt organization pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code in the USA; as a Registered Charity in England and Wales under the Charities Act 1993, Charity Number 111 2055; registered in Australia as a not for profit NGO (ABN 24 317 847 103); and is a registered NGO in Belgium; as a non-profit organization in Canada; under the Societies Registration Act 1860 in Panjab and as a tax exempt organisation under section 80G of the Income Tax Act 1961; under the French Association Law 1901; under the Societies Registration Act 1860 in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Pakistan; as a registered society under the Registrar of Societies in Malaysia (registered as UNITED SIKHS Malaysia Humanitarian Aid Organisation- Regn No: PPM-015-14-06042015); and an NGO pending registration in the Rep of Ireland.: