Afghans coming to India will get six-month visa: Foreign ministry

Afghans arriving in the country will get a six-month visa and the government will "take it from there" as making long-term plans have not been the "best of ideas" under similar circumstances, India said Friday

Aug 28, 2021
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Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi

Afghans arriving in the country will get a six-month visa and the government will "take it from there" as making long-term plans have not been the "best of ideas" under similar circumstances, India said Friday. This comes as the Home Ministry announced that all Afghan nationals must travel to India only using e-visa given the current security situation in Afghanistan, NDTV said. 

"So they (Afghans) are currently coming here under the six-month visa programme. We will take it from there. That's the current plan for six months. This is an evolving situation. Making long term plans have not been the best of ideas," said Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.

India has evacuated over 550 people on six separate flights, from Kabul and Dushanbe. "Of these, over 260 were Indians."

"We were moving to the e-Emergency visa system. It appears that all this could have led to some confusion, which led to the unfortunate incident of denial of entry to a particular Afghan national,"  Bagchi said.

He said that the decision was made in view of the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan. "There were reports of a group of people who raided one of our outsourcing agencies where Afghan passports with Indian visas were there."

Over 11,000 visas issued by the Indian embassy in Afghanistan between August 12 and 14 have been cancelled after more than a thousand visas were reportedly stolen, prompting the government to introduce e-visas after the fall of Kabul.
 
A senior official had said that the intelligence agencies anticipated that the stolen visas could be misused amid chaos in the neighbouring country.
 
India said that the exact number of its citizens remaining in war-torn Afghanistan was unknown. The Ministry of External Affairs believes it has evacuated most who wanted to return while some are still around.

India has till now evacuated hundreds of people from that country since the abrupt takeover of the country's governance by the Taliban last week unleashed much fear and desperation, especially in capital Kabul.

MEA spokesman Arindam Bagchi said India had evacuated over 550 people in six separate flights, either from Kabul or Dushanbe. "Of these, over 260 were Indians. The Government of India also facilitated the evacuation of Indian nationals through other agencies. We were in touch with various countries, like US, Tajikistan."

"We were able to bring out some Afghan nationals as well as nationals from other countries. Of these, many of them were Sikhs and Hindus. Primarily, our focus will be on Indian nationals, but we'll also stand by Afghans who stood by us," Bagchi said.
 
"The last flight had 40-odd people. We were hearing reports that Afghan nationals were facing difficulties in reaching airport. We know some Afghan nationals, including Afghan Sikhs and Hindus, couldn't reach the airport on August 25. Our flight had to come without them."