US Presidential candidate and former Vice-President Joe Biden has expressed concern over the targeting of Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan, especially after the attack on Gurdwara Har Rai Sahib, and suggested they will be given refugee status in America if he was elected President.
“If I am elected President, my administration will renew our commitment to refugees….I will raise the annual global refugee admissions cap to 1,25,000,’’ he declared in a statement issued on a day when a US panel, frequently in the cross-hairs of the Ministry of External Affairs for its observations on Kashmir and Islamophobia in the Indian media, also made common cause on the Sikh issue.
The influential Sam Brownback, head of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), described the attacks on the Sikhs in Afghanistan as a “terrible tragedy’’ for a “wonderful, peaceful religious group’’ that has been virtually decimated in Afghanistan with just a thousand left.
Brownback, a Donald Trump ally, was more guarded on the issue of resettling the Sikh of Afghanistan and said he had heard talks about re-settling them in US, Canada, India or Pakistan. “We’ve been inquiring, as others have, of possible places for the remaining Sikhs in Afghanistan to go to be able to be safe. I don’t have anything publicly that I could say,’’ he added.
Biden recalled when, in the mid-1990s, the Taliban sought to make Sikhs and Hindus wear yellow to identify them as non-Muslims. The recent attack against Afghanistan’s Sikh community demonstrates once again the dangerous conditions for religious minorities, he said, while accusing Trump of ending America’s refugee policy of welcoming people fleeing violence and persecution.
Courtesy: The Tribune