New Delhi, May 8th, 2020: India spoke out for the protection of the rights of the Afghan Hindus and Sikhs when the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad called on External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on May 7th, 2020.
Zalmay was accompanied by Senior Director in the US National Security Council, Lisa Curtis, and the US Ambassador to India, Ken Juster.
Khalilzad provided an update on the US peace and reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan. The US side recognized India’s constructive contribution to economic development, reconstruction, and humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, a note by the MEA said.
The talk also laid importance to India’s crucial and continuing role in sustainable peace, security, and stability in Afghanistan.
EAM and NSA reiterated India’s continued support for strengthening peace, security, unity, democratic and inclusive polity, and protection of rights of all sections of the Afghan society, including Afghan Hindus and Sikhs.
India also expressed her deep concerns at the upsurge in violence and supports the call for an immediate ceasefire and need to assist the people of Afghanistan in dealing with coronavirus pandemic.
India’s interest in the welfare of Afghan Hindus and Sikhs is a welcome step but now, when the biggest stakeholder in Afghanistan, the US also actively looking at the welfare of this community, surely better times can be expected for this community.
Since 2018, 927 Sikhs and Hindus from Afghanistan and Pakistan have been granted Indian Citizenship as per the data provided by Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai on December 11th, 2019.