Insight Online News
New Delhi, Aug 27 : Around 20 Indian nationals alongwith some Afghan Sikhs and Hindus were trying to reach Kabul airport on August 25 but faced difficulty in reaching the airport, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Friday.
MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the last Indian flight out of Kabul had only 40 odd people.
“We are hearing reports of Afghan nationals facing difficulty to reach the airport on August 25. Some Indians, around 20, were also trying to reach the airport, and could not,” he said.
At least 140 Afghan Hindus and Sikhs headed for India were denied access to Kabul airport by the Taliban on August 25, Sikh leaders said.
The group of 140 Afghan Hindu and Sikh pilgrims seeking to attend the 400th birth anniversary celebrations of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur in Delhi was denied access to Kabul airport by the Taliban, the president of Gurdwara Arjan Dev here said on Thursday.
The group was scheduled to arrive on Thursday in Delhi from Kabul but was prevented by the Taliban from going inside Kabul airport on Wednesday night.
“A kirtan darbar is scheduled on Sunday, August 29. Many members of our community from various parts of the world have already arrived to attend the same. Unfortunately, the Taliban has denied them (the Hindu and Sikh pilgrims) access to the Kabul airport, ” Partap Singh (Afghan origin), President of the Gurdwara Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji, New Mahavir Nagar, said in a statement.
“It is sad that our brothers and sisters from Afghanistan aren’t being allowed for the pilgrimage. Each year our Afghan origin community organises pilgrimage tours to India to visit historical gurdwaras in India and this year the visit was pre-planned,” Guljeet Singh (Afghan Origin), President of Gurudwara Guru Nanak Sahib Ji, Vikaspuri, said.
He said after the suspension of commercial international flights in Afghanistan due to the political situation there they had requested the Government of India to facilitate the attendance of the Afghan Hindus and Sikhs to attend the celebrations.
“We regret to note that last night these law-abiding pilgrims were turned back by Taliban security forces from the airport after waiting for more than 15 hours in their convoys,” Guljeet Singh added.
“We appeal to the Taliban to facilitate an early departure of the Afghan Hindu and Sikhs pilgrims in the interest of humanity at the highest level,” Puneet Singh, President of Indian World Forum, said in the statement.