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Hindus, Sikhs have no place in Afghan legal system

Hindus, Sikhs have no place in Afghan legal systemA study by the Pursesh Study and Research Organization shows that Hindus living in Afghanistan have been discriminated against and that their rights are not entrenched in the country’s constitution, reports Tolo News.

According to the study, the Hindus’ rights are being violated in a number of ways including that regarding the confiscation of their properties. There is also a general ignorance and lack of knowledge about the Hindus in the country.

According to the organization, no constitution of Afghanistan has even protected the right of Hindus within the country’s legal system.

“We mostly focused on religious, marginalized minorities and we found the Hindus and Sikhs do not have the same (protections) in the constitution, that other citizens of Afghanistan have. For instance, from the first constitution that was approved during the rule of Shah Amanullah Khan till now the Hindus role is not specified in any of the legal systems that have been set so far,” said Ehsan Shaigan, a university lecturer.

“The constitution says that the formal religion of Afghan people is Islam. Now how can we establish justice for the people who are not Muslim? If today, the Hindus cannot become a judge or president, then if they face a legal problem, how can we solve their problem in an Islamic court,” said Mukhtar Haidari, a researcher for the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC).

Researchers who carried out the study said that ignoring the rights of religious minorities is against the government’s commitment made to the international community.

“Hindus are facing obvious systematic discrimination and even they do not have a representative in parliament,” said Yahya Amar, a university lecturer.

Statistics show that in the past more than 99 percent of Hindus have left the country due to the problems they encountered.

“When students want to write papers about Hindus and when they refer to the central statistic organization to get the number of Hindus living in Afghanistan, there is no number. Our land has been confiscated, even we face various challenges when we want to hold a religious ceremony,” said Anarkali Honaryar, a member of Meshrano Jirga (the Upper House of Parliament.)

Hindus have played a vital role in Afghanistan’s social structure and it is said they were living here before Islam. However, recently discrimination against them has forced them to leave the country.

Source: The Nation