The Lion of Afghanistan, Avtar Singh Khalsa, serves as a representative in the Afghan Parliament. This Afghan hero fought for ten years in the ANA (Afghan National Army) and is reaching out with love and heart to the Taliban to negotiate peace; but willing to fight if Taliban refuses: “I sacrifice myself for those of my brothers who have been through all kinds of pain and suffering,” he said. “I don’t care if I lose my whole family and I get killed for this cause. I will struggle until I get their rights.”
“The 52-year-old father of four, originally from the eastern Paktia province, has lived most of his life in Kabul . . . “I don’t only want to serve my Sikh and Hindu brothers. I have to be able to serve all the Afghan people, no matter which ethnicity or group they belong to. Our services must reach everyone,””
Please visit Avtar Singh Khalsa’s Gurudwara in Kabul on your next visit!
One of the obstacles to peace is Taliban fears of Kabul’s perceived licentious LBGTQ free wheeling night life:
Here in Herat, a prosperous western province, government officials traveled to a rural Taliban compound Sunday morning, where they made impassioned pleas for peace, repeatedly calling the insurgents fellow Afghans and Muslims.
More than 100 local Taliban members met the arriving officials with hugs and smiles. One provincial security official later described encountering an insurgent there who had threatened to kill him barely a week before, but who greeted him warmly at the meeting. Yet many of the insurgents carried assault rifles and rocket launchers, and some had their faces covered with scarves.
After the officials made their appeal inside a mosque, the insurgents responded coolly. The local Taliban leader, Ghulam Sakhi, murmured a few words about obeying the orders of the group’s national leader, then brought his teenage son to the floor. The boy stood and strongly denounced the Ghani government as un-Islamic, while the gathered fighters raised cheers of “God is great.”
“This is not an Islamic government,” declared the boy, identified as Omid.
“Islam says that the hand of a thief should be cut off, that people who have illegal sex should be lashed, but this is not done. There are commanders who drink alcohol. President Ghani has brought an apostate to Afghanistan,” he said, referring to Ghani’s Christian wife, Rula. “We all want to see peace, but we want our government to be Islamic.”
As the meeting dispersed, one Taliban member left the mosque on a motorbike, his face hidden behind a scarf and an assault rifle cradled in his arm. “Until the day a bullet hits me in the forehead, I will fight for Islam,” he said.
This said I am more hopeful about a peace agreement now than any time since 2001. While the above quoted teenage Herat Taliban boy is very conservative in his interpretation of the holy Koran, Hadith and Sura; my sense is that teenage Taliban are starting to become more broadminded in how they interpret Islamic scripture and Sharia, which opens the possibility of peace.
Avtar Singh Khalsa is no more. May we never forget this brave hero of Afghanistan and the world. May his love, blessings, teachings, inspiration live forever. In us, our children, their children, their children’s children, their children’s children’s children in an infinite beauteous tapestry until this multiverse transforms anew. Heroes never die. Heroes are the best part of us when all thoughts fade. Heroes are the true lovers. Heroes love all and hate none. Heroes are what Russell Brand calls the grace that comes when cosmology, fleeting morality, chaos, vastness and patterns (female, male, love, beauty) are in melody and harmony. What Jordan Peterson calls the pattern that is composed of all other patterns. Heroes are the bliss of the seven Jannah, the interior castle through the narrow gate Isha (Jesus) spoke of (Mathew 7:13-14) so long ago:
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
We will remember Avtar Singh Khalsa in the light beyond light, music beyond music, art beyond art, sound beyond sound, breath beyond breath, silence beyond silence and love beyond love. Now and forever more.
All are welcome to share their thoughts on Avtar Singh Khalsa in the comment section below.