Afghanistan: Sikhs

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 23rd April 2020.

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Photo of Seema Malhotra Seema Malhotra Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Employment)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what diplomatic steps his Department has taken to support Sikh minorities in Afghanistan following the attack on a Sikh temple in Kabul on 25 March 2020.

Photo of Nigel Adams Nigel Adams Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

We strongly condemn the attack on a Sikh Gurdwara in Kabul on 25 March. Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for South Asia with responsibility for human rights and Her Majesty's Ambassador to Kabul have both condemned the attack. The UK continues to urge the Government of Afghanistan to ensure the rights of all ethnic and religious groups are protected, in line with the Afghan constitution.

At the Universal Periodic Review of Afghanistan at the UN Human Rights Council in 2019, the UK recommended that the Afghan Government establish an independent mechanism to strengthen security protection for all religious and ethnic minorities.

We will continue to engage with organisations and individuals which represent the Afghan Sikh and Hindu community, in Afghanistan and the UK. This helps us to maintain a full understanding of the challenges faced by their communities.

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