Ottawa (July 11, 2018): Following the tragic suicide bombing attack against a delegation of Afghan Sikh and Hindu leaders on July 1, in Jalalabad that took 19 lives, over 50 Canadian Sikh gurdwaras and organizations from across the country have joined together to call on the Canadian government to help save Afghanistan's minority Sikh and Hindu communities. Meetings and press conferences were organized by major Sikh gurdwaras and societies in the Toronto and Vancouver areas last weekend. The press conferences were also attended by members of Alberta MLA Manmeet Singh Bhullar's family. Bhullar championed the cause of Afghan Sikhs and Hindus before his tragic passing in November 2015. The gurdwaras and societies have urgently called on the Canadian government to:
- Recognize Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan as vulnerable minorities and develop an appropriate plan of action to directly evacuate them from their current situation without requiring them to first go to a third country.
- Fast-track the files of the 65 Afghan Sikh & Hindu refugee families who have been privately sponsored and whose files are under process.
WSO President Mukhbir Singh said, "the situation for Afghanistan's Hindus and Sikhs continues to deteriorate. Gurdwaras and Sikh societies from across Canada are united on this matter- urgent action is needed to save these vulnerable minorities before it is too late. Before his passing in November 2015, Manmeet Singh Bhullar championed this issue and brought it to the attention of the Canadian Government. We need the Government of Canada to urgently act to process the refugee applications of these vulnerable minorities on an expedited basis and to create a program that would allow Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan to be directly evacuated to Canada. We fear that any further delay may result in further tragedy and loss of life."
The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) is a non-profit organization with a mandate to promote and protect the interests of Canadian Sikhs, as well as to promote and advocate for the protection of human rights for all individuals, irrespective of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, and social and economic status