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Taliban remove Sikh flag from gurudwara in Afghanistan’s Paktia

New Delhi, August 6 (UNI): In a stamp of its authoritarian Islamist agenda, the Taliban have reportedly removed the Nishan Sahib, a Sikh religious flag, from a gurudwara in Paktia province in eastern Afghanistan.

“We condemn this act,” sources said on Friday, adding that India’s firm belief is in an Afghanistan that is syncretic and the rights and interests of all are protected.

The Nishan Sahib was taken off from the roof of Gurdwara Thala Sahib in the Chamkani area of Paktia province, according to images on social media.

The gurudwara is of historic significance as it was where Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, had visited.

Sources said on Friday, “We have seen media reports on Nishan Sahib, a Sikh religious flag atop the roof of Gurdwara Thala Sahib, Chamkani in Paktia province of Afghanistan having been removed.

“We condemn this act and reiterate India’s firm belief that Afghanistan’s future must be one where the interest of all sections of Afghan society including minorities and women are protected,” the sources added.

It is the same shrine where Nidan Singh Sachdeva, a leader of the Hindu and Sikh communities of Afghanistan, was kidnapped in May 2020 and was released after some days following efforts made by Afghanistan government and community elders.

Afghanistan’s Sikh minority has dwindled to a few hundred families after being targeted by the Taliban and other communities over the decades.

In areas taken over by the Taliban, the militants are re-imposing their interpretation of Islamic Sharia law.

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