Afghanistan’s last Sikhs ponder leaving their centuries-old home to go into exile

South China Morning Post published this video item, entitled “Afghanistan’s last Sikhs ponder leaving their centuries-old home to go into exile” – below is their description.

In 1970, Afghanistan’s centuries-old Sikh population numbered 100,000. But by 2021, that figure had plummeted to around 240. Thousands have fled over the past five decades due to years of civil war, discrimination, poverty and general political instability. The vast majority of Sikhs fleeing Afghanistan have moved to India, primarily the northwestern region of Punjab. After the recent Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, India’s government offered exiled Sikhs priority visas and the chance to apply for long-term residency. But some Sikhs rejected the offer, choosing instead to remain. But those who’ve stayed must balance an affection for their long-term home with security concerns which leave many torn over whether to stay or go.

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About This Source - South China Morning Post

The South China Morning Post (SCMP), with its Sunday edition, the Sunday Morning Post, is a Hong Kong-based English-language newspaper founded in 1903. It is Hong Kong’s newspaper of record, owned by Alibaba Group.

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In This Story: Afghanistan

Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central and South Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south; Iran to the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north; and China to the northeast.

Occupying 652,000 square kilometers (252,000 sq mi), it is a mountainous country with plains in the north and southwest. Kabul is the capital and largest city. The population is around 32 million, composed mostly of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks.

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India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the second-most populous country, the seventh-largest country by land area, and the most populous democracy in the world. New Delhi is the capital.

It has an exceptionally diverse population, with Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and other religions speaking over 21 recognised languages.

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The Taliban or Taleban, who refer to themselves as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, is a Deobandi Islamist movement and military organization in Afghanistan, currently waging war within the country. Since 2016, the Taliban’s leader has been Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada.

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