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A Sikh organization implicated in former defence minister Harjit Sajjan’s order to evacuate Sikhs from Afghanistan during the retreat from Kabul had donated several thousands of dollars to Sajjan in the form of political contributions.

According to a Globe and Mail report from last week, the Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation – a Sikh charity dedicated to saving minorities in Afghanistan – had been in contact with Sajjan in 2021 while he was overseeing Canada’s evacuation from the region. 

As defence minister, Sajjan ordered the Canadian special forces to undertake a mission to rescue the Afghani Sikhs as he continued to liaise with the Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation, who themselves were in active contact with the Sikhs on the ground.

However, it has been discovered that all four directors from the Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation had donated thousands of dollars to Sajjan’s riding association during the airlift out of Afghanistan and afterwards.

The first donation came from Tarjinder Bhullar on Aug 19, 2021, donating $510.10 to the Vancouver South Liberal riding association.

The next two donations came a few days later, with Apharnarayan Bhullar and Blajinder Bhullar donating $1,000 each to Sajjan’s riding association on Aug 22, 2021.

One day after the evacuation mission from Kabul was finished on Aug 26, 2021, the final director Namrita Rattan donated $1,650 to Sajjan’s riding association on Aug 27.

True North reached out to Sajjan and the Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation for comment but did not receive a reply from either party.

The donations from the Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation’s directors raise questions as to whether or not Sajjan was aware of the contributions, and whether they played a role in his decision. 

Sajjan’s decision to order the military to evacuate Afghani Sikhs from Kabul has been heavily scrutinized in recent days. 

Sources who are familiar with the mission to rescue Afghani Sikhs and the overall evacuation from Kabul told the media that Sajjan’s order compromised the Canadian Armed Forces’ ability to evacuate Canadian citizens and Afghans who had helped the Canadian military.

One source told the media that the military was solely focused on rescuing Afghani Sikhs during the final day of the evacuation. The mission ended up a failure as the designated evacuees had fled their rendezvous point before the evacuation team arrived.

In a press conference last week, Sajjan denied the claim that he put the lives of foreign nationals ahead of Canadians and claimed that the news report more than likely would not have been published if he did not wear a turban. 

“I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t think I’ll be getting those questions if I wasn’t wearing a turban,” said Sajjan.