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Paktia Sikhs want to comeback if their properties returned

Paktia Sikhs want to comeback if their properties returned

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May 26, 2019 - 17:03

GARDEZ (Pajhwok): Hindu and Sikh families who have migrated from southeastern Paktia province want to return if their grabbed lands are given them back.

Dr. Jagmohan Singh Bashardost, the only residing Sikh in Gardez, the capital of Paktia, says their migrated families had extended and if returned the current residential homes could not meet their needs and urged the government to retake their grabbed lands in Gardez city.

Bashardost, who runs a Greek medicine shop in Gardez, said local residents treated him well but urged the government to help extend their businesses.

He expressed his deep concern over the destruction of their worship and other religious places in Gardez city and demanded their reconstructioninfo-icon.

He said, “Our Sikhs had homes in the past here, but I have nothing personally as I am a poor man, some Sighs had lands and some sold their lands and others gave them on rent. The government should reconstruct our destroyed worship places.”

He said dozens of their families had been living in Gardez before the civil war but currently most of them had displaced to Kabulinfo-icon, Ghazni and India.

He said the families who had moved to Kabul, Ghazni and India wanted to return back to Paktia but the current residential compounds could not meet their needs.

Rahmatullah, a resident of 3rd police district of Gardez city, told Pajhwok that most of Sikhs and Hindus properties and religious places had been grabbed at the Khost Bridge area and given on rent.

Sharif Mangal, a civil societyinfo-icon activist, said Sikhs were real residents of Paktia like others and called on the government to provide them all living facilities.

He said around 60 Sikh families lived in Gardez during Dr. Najibullah regime and had homes, shops and lands and religious places but today most of their properties had been grabbed and markets constructed on them.

Meanwhile, Governor Shamim Khan Katawazai said a number of Sikh and Hindu representatives had shared their problems with him.

He said he had promised with the minorities of providing them all their properties back if they provided evidence and documents in support of their claims.

pk/ma

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