Afghanistan government to rebuild Temples and Gurudwaras

The Afghan ministry of finance has unveiled a 650,000 dollar-budget plan — to revamp Hindu and Sikh religious sites.

...The Afghan ministry of finance has unveiled a 650,000 dollar-budget plan — to revamp Hindu and Sikh religious sites.

650,000 US dollars — a decent figure compared to Afghanistan's annual budget this year which stands at 5.5 billion dollars.

This money will be used to rebuild temples and gurudwaras in consultation with local chieftains — or what you call clan leaders.

But not many religious sites remain in this country. There are close to 10 gurudwaras and temples left in Afghanistan today. Most of them are located in the capital Kabul.

The provinces of Nangarhar, Paktia and Ghazni also have temples which are centuries old. Minorities have left this country because of religious persecution. According to Afghanistan's state media — the Sikh and Hindu population stood at 220,000 in the 1980s.

Then the mujahideen came to power — and this number dropped to 15,000 in the 1990s. In just a decade — close to 200,000 minorities fled Afghanistan and this was followed by years of neglect by successive governments.

The result — there is no census data available today. Estimating the exact numbers is impossible. One headline is on your screens — it says 99% of Sikhs and Hindus have left Afghanistan.

And it's not a far-fetched claim. Community members themselves will tell you that there are no more than a few Hindus and Sikhs left in Afghanistan today.

Some reports say not more than 1500. The Afghan government wishes to undo this injustice meted out to its minorities for decades...

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