From a big number of Hindu and Sikh citizens of Afghanistan who lived in Paktia province, in the east of the country, only three have remained in the province while the remaining have left during and after the civil war.
The three Hindu and Sikh residents of Paktia said their properties and lands were usurped during the wars. They urged government to address their problems.
Jagmohan Singh, 48, said he is living with his wife in Gardez City for the past several years.
He said at least 800 Hindu and Sikh citizens were living in the city in the past, but after the civil wars they inevitably left their houses and went abroad.
Singh said some of his relatives are trying to return to their home country, Afghanistan, but their houses have been destroyed here and their lands have been grabbed.
He said government should facilitate the return of those Hindus and Sikhs who have left the country and want to come back.
“We do not want a lot from government. Our relatives are ready to return. Government should provide us place to live,” Singh said.
The only Hindu resident in Paktia, Rajesh Kumar, 37, living in Gardez City, said their properties were grabbed by powerful people. He asked government to build a temple for them.
Kumar said all his family members are in India and he lives alone in Gardez.
“Government should ask about our situation and should build a temple for us. Our properties have been grabbed. I have sold a shop, but still the price of the shop has not been paid to me,” Kumar said.
Houses and lands of the Hindus and Sikhs who lived in Bala Hesar area in Gardez City have been grabbed by local powerful men, other residents of the city said.
“They (Hindus and Sikhs) had temples and houses here. They have rented their houses and the houses of some of them have been grabbed,” said Sayed Ashraf, a resident of Gardez.
“They (Hindu and Sikh citizens) used to pray here. In their religious days, they used to light candles, but now they are not here,” Najmuddin, a resident of Gardez, said.
Meanwhile, member of Paktia Provincial Council Taj Mohammad Mangal called on government to ddress the Hindus and Sikhs problems.
“Hindus and Sikhs like other Paktia residents were forced to migrate. We urge government to provide education, life and other opportunities for them to return to their country,” Mangal said.
Paktia local officials however refused to comment in this respect.