Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, several other political leaders and Sikh bodies on Saturday strongly condemned the attack on a gurdwara in Kabul and urged the Centre to take immediate steps to ensure the safety of minorities in Afghanistan.
Several blasts were reported near the Gurdwara Karte Parwan on Saturday, in the latest targeting of a place of worship of a minority community in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. India has slammed the "cowardly attack" and said it is closely monitoring the situation.
Taking to Twitter, Chief Minister Mann said, “Strongly condemn the attack at Gurudwara Karte Parwan in Kabul. Have heard reports of shots being fired at devotees, I'm praying for everyone's safety. I urge PM @narendramodi ji and @MEAIndia for immediate assistance to ensure the safety of minorities in Kabul."
Mann, later in a statement, said, “This is an inhuman act and I urge Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure the safety and security of the Sikhs residing in Kabul.”
He said the government of India must ensure the safety of the Sikhs in the gurdwara.
“A decisive and swift action needs to be taken by the prime minister in this hour of crisis,” said Mann.
It is very unfortunate that the terrorists had not even spared the religious shrines for carrying out such brutal activities, Mann said, adding the incident has once again proved that the terrorist do not have any religion.
He said this is a disgraceful act that must be condemned by one and all.
Former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh said that he was deeply concerned over the attack on the gurdwara in Kabul.
“Praying to Waheguru Ji for the safety of all the devotees & citizens stuck inside the premises. Urge the MEA to look into this matter & ensure the safety of all devotees. @DrSjaishankar,” said Singh in a tweet.
Punjab Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring and SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal also urged the Centre to take up the matter with Afghan authorities.
“Strongly condemn the ISIS attack on Gurdwara Karte Parwan, Kabul. While praying for the safety of all present in Gurdwara, I urge PM @narendramodi & EAM @DrSjaishankar to take up the matter with Afghanistan govt & ensure the security of all Sikh families & their religious places,” said Badal in a tweet.
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee chief Harjinder Singh Dhami said the attack has hurt Sikhs across the globe and urged the Centre to take steps for the evacuatiion of remaining Sikhs and Hindus from Afghanistan.
Dhami wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to hold talks with the diplomats and ministers concerned to help the Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan.
“The incident is extremely painful and it has hurt the Sikhs living across the globe.
"Since the Taliban takeover of government in Afghanistan, the SGPC, Amritsar, the apex body of Sikhs, has been continuously writing and asking the government of India, to ensure the safety of life and property of Sikhs and Hindus living in Afghanistan by holding talks at the diplomatic levels.
"Despite repeated alerts about the threat to the lives of Afghan Sikhs and Hindus, so far, the government of India has not been able to evacuate them to safety”, Dhami wrote in the letter.
“Today's attack on Gurdwara Sahib is very unfortunate and shocking for the Sikhs and we are wondering about what the government of India is waiting for?
"So far, arrangements have not been made to evacuate the Sikhs and Hindus still present in Afghanistan,” said Dhami.
Earlier, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar reacted to the terror attack.
"The cowardly attack on Gurudwara Karte Parwan should be condemned in the strongest terms by all. We have been closely monitoring developments since the news of the attack was received. Our first and foremost concern is for the welfare of the community," he tweeted.
(With PTI inputs)