Afghanistan: 'Our lives are in danger' — Afghan Sikhs plan to leave the country

Afghan Sikhs are weighing up their future in their home country due to being targeted by terror attacks and discrimination in Afghanistan, in a report from Helmand on Sunday. A group of Afghan Sikhs can be seen holding numerous photographs of family and community members who were killed in previous terror attacks. Only this month, militants from the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly... Еще ISIS/ISIL) carried out a suicide bombing in the eastern Jalalabad killing at least 13 members of the Sikh community. This included Avtar Singh Khalsa, the only Sikh candidate in parliamentary elections. Rajbeer Singh, Head of Nangarhar province of Sikhs, explained how he wanted to show the pictures to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, and to «tell him if you cannot protect us, we will leave the country, and will tell him, that we were safe in other regimes, but during your presidency we are forced to leave Afghanistan.» Another Sikh man, Tapar Singh, said that the current government didn't care about the security of the Sikh community, and said «the UN should help us and find a way for us to get out of Afghanistan, we don't want to stay in Afghanistan, our lives are in danger every minute when we live here.» The Sikh community in Afghanistan once numbered as many as 100,000 people. However, since the Afghan civil war in the 90s, that number has dwindled to as low as 2,500. Those who still remain face a stark choice, convert to Islam or seek refuge in neighbouring India, their spiritual homeland.

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