‘We don’t pick by religion,’ says Surrey MP Randeep Sarai

MP defends press release focused solely on plight of Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan, while ignoring Christians and Buddhists

In a press release

OTTAWA — Surrey Liberal MP Randeep Sarai is applauding the federal government’s Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration hearings on the plight of Sikh and Hindu refugees in Afghanistan.

The MP for Surrey-Centre issued a press release Monday.

“I am pleased that the committee recognizes and acknowledges the plight of the Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan,” Sarai stated.

“They have called Afghanistan their home for hundreds of years and in recent decades the situation has deteriorated to the point of no return.”

Sarai noted “the situation in Afghanistan is dire – those who do remain face discrimination, violence and poverty because of their faith.

“I am looking forward to the recommendations of this committee,” Sarai stated in his press release. “I hope that we can find bipartisan support on how we can best respond to the devastating and deteriorating situation for Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan.”

Sarai’s press release made no mention of the plight of other persecuted religious groups such as Buddhists, who have lived in Afghanistan since 305 BC, or Christians, who have lived in northern Afghanistan since the 1st century AD.

The Open Doors World Watch List 2016 ranks Afghanistan as the fourth worst country in the world for persecuting Christians, after North Korea, Iraq and Eritrea.

Sarai told the Now the government committee is also looking into the plight of the Yazidis, the LGBTQ community and other groups.

“Everyone’s for all of them,” he said. “We don’t pick by religion.”

He said his press release focused on Sikhs and Hindus specifically because the committee was hearing from representatives of those groups at the time.

tom.zytaruk@thenownewspaper.com

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