Canada taking action to help Sikh and Hindu minorities in Afghanistan

Ahmed Hussen

MINISTER of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship  Ahmed Hussen announced on Tuesday that Canada is approving the private sponsorship of the Sikh and Hindu minority population in Afghanistan by the Manmeet Bhullar Foundation. Canada will welcome the approved individuals here early next year.

The Sikh and Hindu communities in Afghanistan, which now number less than 2,000, face daily persecution and attacks for their religious beliefs. This past July, 19 members of these religious minorities were killed in a suicide bombing.

“When any one religious community is targeted and attacked for their beliefs, we all have a responsibility to stand up and do everything in our power to protect that group and bring an end to persecution,” said Surrey-Newton MP Sukh Dhaliwal.

The late Manmeet Bhullar

Dhaliwal added he is “thankful for the hard work of the late Alberta MLA, Manmeet Singh Bhullar, and proud that on the third anniversary of his passing we can make this announcement to welcome the most vulnerable to Canada. This is only possible because of his tireless work in raising awareness of this persecution, and Minister Ahmed Hussen who has worked with determination and diligence in reducing processing times that made this announcement possible.”

Dhaliwal added: “Canada is known around the world as a compassionate, tolerant, and equal nation and groups like the Manmeet Bhullar Foundation and actions like these strengthen our place in the world as a leader in

Sukh Dhaliwal
Photo by Chandra Bodalia

Human Rights. Once again, I am proud of the work done by everyone who voiced their concern, and worked hard for a solution, I look forward to welcoming them to Canada early next year.”

The Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation called this “a welcome step towards completing the work Manmeet started.” It added: “We look forward to hearing about immediate next steps. Manmeet’s vision has been carried forward by the collective work of many. Our thanks to The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan and members of his team, who remain steadfast in their commitment to sharing this goal with us. … Our sincere appreciation to Balpreet Singh and the WSO [World Sikh Organization] who continue to advocate alongside us, and the elected officials who gave voice to this project. To the gurdwaras and individuals across this country that have risen to the challenge and provided support for private sponsorship applications, your commitment leaves us humbled. The work continues for all of us and the true success will be the lives that are to be forever changed once these individuals become future Canadians, contributing to the fabric of our great nation.”
WSO President Mukhbir Singh said: “We are grateful that, in light of the particular vulnerability of these refugees, the Government of Canada has expedited the processing of their files. The remaining Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan, who now number less than 1,500, face growing persecution and hardship – we are hopeful that steps will be taken to also bring them to safety.  We are thankful to the Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation and our other community partners for carrying on the critical work that Manmeet started.”

6 COMMENTS

  1. Sat Sri aakal g to all my dear canadian sikh brothers . My self Ram nath from kabul Afghanistan. I m so happy nd thanks full of ur community on behalf of over migration project with has been don successfully .best regards from Ram nath

  2. A Big Thanks to Canada Government and Shri Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation .
    Regards
    Ramnath Talwar

  3. Thanks to the Canadian goverment…god bless you because you all stand for human rights…
    I have a small question…i want to know the afghan sikh community in india can apply for this??

  4. As an Afghan, I know how it s hard to separate from beloved Homeland…..
    But no option, just to save life😭

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