Sikh scripture copies, 75 people being flown in from Kabul
(Sourced from PTI)
Three copies of Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib and 75 people, including 46 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus, are being evacuated from war-ravaged Afghanistan on an IAF plane, people coordinating the evacuation efforts with the Indian government said on Monday. "Nearly 200 more Afghan Sikhs and Hindus are still stranded in Afghanistan," said Puneet Singh Chandhok, President of the Indian World Forum.
Indian World Forum is an organization coordinating the evacuation efforts with the Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian Air Force (IAF). "These people have taken shelter at the Karte Parwan Gurdwara in Kabul, which is close to the airport," he added.
Announcing the evacuation flight, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri took to Twitter to say, "Three Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji are being escorted to IAF aircraft at Kabul airport. Forty-six Afghan Hindus, Sikhs, and stranded Indian nationals are blessed to return on the same flight." "Seventy-five people are on the flight. Three Guru Granth Sahib ji are also being brought to India," Chandhok said.
ਆਗਿਆ ਭਈ ਅਕਾਲ ਕੀ ਤਬੀ ਚਲਾਇਓ ਪੰਥ ||— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) August 23, 2021
ਸਭ ਸਿਖਨ ਕੋ ਹੁਕਮ ਹੈ ਗੁਰੂ ਮਾਨਿਯੋ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ||
3 Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji are being escorted to the @IAF_MCC aircraft at Kabul Airport.
46 Afghan Hindus Sikhs along with stranded Indian nationals are blessed to return on the same flight. pic.twitter.com/qzqW5ZF6W3
Referring to those still stranded in Kabul, he said that the 10-kilometer-long drive to the international airport from the Gurdwara Karte Parwan through the various checkpoints is one of the biggest challenges in the rescue efforts. "Around 100 more Afghan Sikhs and Hindus are likely to be evacuated in a couple of hours," Chandhok added.
"The evacuation of these 46 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus at such a challenging time is a big relief for us," said Manjinder Singh Sirsa, President of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, which is also coordinating with the Indian government in the evacuation mission. "US security forces escorted these people to the Kabul airport," he said.
India on Monday brought back 146 citizens on four different flights from Qatar's capital Doha, days after they were evacuated from Afghanistan by NATO and American aircraft amid the deteriorating security situation in the war-torn country. On Sunday, it had evacuated 392 individuals from Kabul on three flights. Among them were 24 Afghan Sikhs, including two Afghan MPs and their families.