On Wednesday, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that all Afghan nationals are required to have a mandatory e-visa to travel to India amidst the security situation in Afghanistan continues to be tense. The Centre has introduced the e-Emergency X-Misc visa.
“Keeping in view some reports that certain passports of Afghan nationals have been misplaced, previously issued visas to all Afghan nationals, who are presently not in India, stand invalidated with immediate effect. Afghan nationals wishing to travel to India may apply for e-Visa at indianvisaonline.gov.in,” the union government was quoted as saying.
As many as 78 people arrived from Afghanistan yesterday — 24 Indians and 54 Afghan nationals, including 53 men, 14 women, and 11 children.
All the evacuees had to undergo a Covid test at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI), all of which tested negative.
India has been continuously evacuating its nationals from Afghanistan after the Taliban captured Kabul. According to the Press Trust of India news agency, about 400 Indians were believed to be stranded in Afghanistan.
Kabul’s rapid fall was powerfully illustrated as crowds in Afghanistan made a desperate attempt to flee the country. Heartbreaking, spine-chilling videos played out on screens across the globe — hundreds of people running, hopelessly scrambling up a ladder to board a parked plane, and running alongside an American Military aircraft that was about to take off. Two people clinging on to the wheels of an aircraft fell and lost their lives.
Meanwhile, on August 23, hundreds of Afghans in India took to the streets to demand refugee status when fear engulfed them after the Taliban took over Afghanistan. Afghans in India flocked outside the UN agency’s office in New Delhi and demanded justice, especially for Afghan children and women.
According to many Afghans protesting outside the UN Office, they fled to India over 10 years ago. However, they are yet to be recognised as refugees. India is not a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention of 1951 and its 1967 Protocol.
The UN refugee agency says that Afghans accounted for about a third of around 40,000 refugees registered in India as of 2019 – a figure excludes people who are not registered with the UN.