Afghan Sikh and Hindus will be allowed to travel to India provided they possess valid travel documents, a Taliban spokesperson said on Monday. Zahebullah Mujahid, official spokesperson for Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, told the Pajhwok Afghan news agency that the group has confirmed the acceptance of the appeal of the President of the Indian World Forum for the communities’ safe passage to India.
Mujahid, however, added that Sikhs are a part of Afghanistan and their rights would be protected under new rules. The spokesperson in an interview also conveyed the Taliban’s acceptance for the departure of Afghan Hindu and Sikh pilgrims to India and assured his support.
A prominent Sikh leader in Kabul, however, said about 150 Hindus and Sikhs, who were supposed to fly to India, were not allowed to leave a few days ago.
Speaking to the local media, Gurnam Singh, chairman of Kabul’s Parwan Committee, said the Taliban should fulfil their commitment by allowing the Sikhs to attend ceremonies in India associated with the 400th anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur’s Prakash Parv.
Earlier, days after the Taliban took control of Kabul, videos had surfaced on social media showing Taliban leaders visiting a gurudwara and talking to Sikhs who had taken refuge inside. The leaders had also assured the Hindus and Sikhs of their safety.