JALALABAD (Pajhwok): The only remaining Sikh in eastern Nangarhar province, Gulcharan Singh, says his love for the country is not letting him migrate elsewhere and has forced him to stay and serve his countrymen.
Singh, 60, a resident of Sherzad district, has been running a Greek medicine shop in Jalalabad city for decades. He says his profession is a family heirloom and he has served his people for decades with great pride.
After the fall of former president Dr. Najibullah’s government, he recalled, Sikhs started leaving Afghanistan. Only 45 families out of 10,000 families remained in Nangarhar until recently.
He said a new wave of Sikhs migration began after the recent political change, but after the Daesh-claimed attack on a Sikh temple in Kabul, many Sikh families left Nangarhar, Ghazni and Kandahar provinces.
Singh said out of the 45 families, his family was the only one remaining in Nangarhar and all other Sikh families left Afghanistan and handed over their businesses to their pupils.
He said the Sikhs started leaving Afghanistan after the collapse of Dr. Najib’s government. “Their children got education abroad. They have either sold their properties here or people have seized them.”
Singh said he faced no problem in the current government and the governor of Nangarhar and some other security officials had repeatedly visited him and assured him of all kind of cooperation and security.
He added: “The governor himself came, the director of intelligence came. They gave me their phone numbers and said to contact them if I faced any problem from anyone.”
Gulcharan Singh’s children, like other Afghan Sikhs, are in India where they received education. One of his sons, who is a doctor, runs a small hospital in India.
“Anderpal Singh is my eldest son, my second son is Sandeep Singh who is also a doctor, my third son is a computer science graduate and the fourth is a 12th grader.”
The only Afghan Sikh left in Nangarhar says he could live a comfortable life in India where his children reside “But my heart is attached to Afghanistan and I don’t enjoy living there (India)”.
“We are Afghans and familiar with the climate of Afghanistan. I fall sick wherever I go to India. My heart is happy here, otherwise my business is very good there.”
Gulcharan Singh said still many people in Nangarhar used Greek medicine for treatment and with it his business was running
He hoped that one day the situation in the country would improve and the exiled Afghan Sikhs would return to Afghanistan.