Islamic State links Kabul strike to Prophet ‘insults’
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack on the Karte Parwan Gurdwara in Kabul saying it was in response to the “insults” to Prophet Mohammed, an apparent reference to the derogatory comments by two now-axed BJP spokespersons.
Following the terror attack that left at least two people dead, the Union home ministry decided to grant emergency visas to more than 100 Afghan Hindus and Sikhs wishing to leave Afghanistan.
“The IS said Saturday’s attack targeted Hindus and Sikhs and ‘apostates’ who supported them in ‘an act of support for the Messenger of Allah’, in a message issued on its Amaq propaganda outlet,” AFP reported.
The attack on the gurdwara — where several Afghan Sikhs had taken shelter after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August — appears to have forced the Narendra Modi government to act and meet the long-pending demand of Afghanistan’s minuscule minority community for Indian visas.
According to Puneet Singh Chandhok, president of the Indian World Forum who had been coordinating with the Sikh community in Afghanistan, 160 Sikhs and Hindus are estimated to be still in the strife-torn country. As of Sunday evening, 111 visas had been issued and the rest were under process. As there are no direct flights to India, their options are to fly in via Teheran or Dubai.
In the remaining cases, the delay was on account of travel documents having expired. “Some don’t have passports and some passports got burnt in the fire that followed the terror attack,” Chandhok said.
External affairs minister S. Jaishankar said he did not view as “lecture” the concerns expressed by Gulf countries over the comments on the Prophet by the now-axed BJP spokespersons.
“I am also a little sensitive to being lectured. But I would not take this issue as a lecture. I think this was an issue where the sensibilities and the sensitivities of people were impacted. So they were articulating that,” he said at a town hall organised by CNN-News18.
Jaishankar also said that the countries understood that the comments did not match the position of the government.