TAMARA Jansen, Official Opposition Deputy Critic for Labour and MP for Cloverdale-Langley City, has again called upon the federal government to take action to curb religious persecution of Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan.
Jansen participated on Saturday in a video conference event entitled Afghan Sikhs: The Way Forward. The event was organized by United Sikhs, and included Liberal MP James Maloney (Etobicoke – Lakeshore, Ontario) and special guest Chabul Singh Khalsa from Afghanistan. The event was moderated by Jagdeep Singh, Executive Director of United Sikhs.
Religious persecution of Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan has decimated a population that once numbered in the hundreds of thousands and has now dwindled to under 5,000. On March 25, a terrible terrorist attack took the lives of 25 worshippers while they prayed in a Sikh gurdwara in the heart of Kabul.
“Freedom of religion is a fundamental right, and we need to stand up for it all around the world, wherever it is threatened,” said Jansen. “It’s time for the Government of Canada to take action to help Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan whose very lives are in danger.”
Jansen sponsored a petition in late March that calls for:
- the Minister of Foreign Affairs to strongly advocate with his Afghan counterpart on behalf of persecuted religious minorities; and
- the federal government to create a special program to allow persecuted Sikhs and other persecuted religious members to leave Afghanistan and come to Canada.
“Canada has a strong record of supporting freedom of religion, human rights and the rule of law,” said Jansen. “I ran on a promise to stand up for freedom, and that’s what my Conservative colleagues and I will do every day, both in Ottawa and our home ridings.”
“I hope the government will finally take decisive action to protect Afghan Sikhs, and work to end the persecution they face,” she said.
Anyone interested in signing Jansen’s petition can do so at www.TamaraJansenMP.ca.