Small Wars Journal

The Last Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan Plead for U.S. Help

Sun, 04/19/2020 - 10:36am

The Last Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan Plead for U.S. Help by Jessica Donati and Ehsanullah Amiri - Wall Street Journal

The last community of Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan is seeking asylum in the U.S. after suffering an attack by Islamic State extremists, posing a test of the Trump administration’s pledge to protect and support religious minorities world-wide.

The Islamic State attack targeting a Sikh temple in Kabul last month killed 25 people, while dozens of others were taken hostage in a six-hour siege ending in a gun battle with Afghanistan’s commandos, the elite army unit that works closely with U.S. Special Forces.

There are about 650 Sikhs and Hindus left in Afghanistan. The fear in the community is a reminder of the uncertainty facing the country after the U.S. reached a February deal with the Taliban to withdraw all of its troops next year.

“When the U.S. leaves, life for us will become impossible. It’s only a matter of time that all of us will be eliminated. We want refugee status and protection in a U.S. Army base here. We want this soon,” a Sikh community leader who lost three immediate relatives in the attack told The Wall Street Journal…

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