The Islamic State Khorasan Province on Sunday claimed the responsibility for the attack on a Sikh temple in Afghanistan that killed one community member and a Taliban fighter, saying it was a retaliation for insults against the Prophet Muhammad. However, in their statement, they exaggerated the figures and claimed 50 Hindus, Sikhs and Taliban were killed in the attack. Also Read: Curious case of ISKP emir Aslam Farooqui and Pak links
ISKP has been rising in Afghanistan after the indiscriminate release of terrorists from the prison last year when US forces exited Afghanistan. The ISKP, which is totally opposed to the existence of any minority including Shia, Hindus, Christians, Ahmadis, has umbilical links with the Pakistani deep state, as evident from the statement of Mawlawi Abudullah aka Aslam Farooqui, the former chief of the ISKP to the Afghan National Directorate of Security, after Farooqui was arrested in 2020. During interrogation, Farooqui was understood to have laid bare links of ISKP with Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence.
The Gurdwara attack also reveals the rising radicalisation in the Af-Pak region with the Taliban regime unable to contain these Islamic jihadis.
Repugnant: Reactions from Pakistan, Taliban, Afghanistan’s NRF
The Gurdwara attack drew severe criticism from world leaders with the United Nations Assistance Mission tweeting that the attacks on civilians should be stopped immediately. Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid released a statement condemning the attack and expressing condolences while assuring the Sikh community of action against the perpetrators.
Pakistan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Mohammad Sadiq said Pakistan was seriously concerned at the recent spate of terrorist attacks on places of worship in Afghanistan. He added that these acts of terrorism targeting religious places were utterly repugnant.
Harjinder Singh, president of SGPC Amritsar, has written an email to the PMO to ensure the safety and security of Sikhs /Hindus in Afghanistan.
Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai called for the start of a national dialogue to establish long-term peace and stability, and pleaded for the country to be saved from suffering through the unity of all Afghans while Dr Abdullah Abdullah said, “I strongly condemn today’s heinous & cowardly terrorist attack on our Sikh community Gurdwara in Karta-e-Parwan”.
Anarkali Hunaryar, former Hindu lawmaker in the upper House of Afghan Parliament, during the previous government, reacted on her Twitter account and said, “Sikhs were targeted because of the new relationship between Afghanistan and India”.
NRF Spokesperson Sebghatullah Ahmadi denounced the attack and said that such attacks on mosques, places of worship and public facilities are a method of “Taliban occupied forces to assert that they rule by force”. “Can’t find lethal enough words to express condemnation of the heinous terrorist attack against the Gurdwara in Kabul, targetting peaceful Sikh citizens of Afghanistan with ISI backed HQN ruling Kabul & LeT/Jaishroaming free, a fair investigation can’t be expected. Attack has all the hallmarks of HQN”.