India announces ‘e-Emergency X-Misc Visa’ in view of the present situation in Afghan
Reaching out to people facing Taliban atrocities in Afghanistan, India on Tuesday announced that it will issue an emergency e-visa to Afghan nationals who want to come to the country in view of the prevailing situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban captured power there. India said that its Embassy in Kabul is not closed and local staff is providing consular services. More than 1,650 people have applied for their return to India, diplomats said in Delhi in the backdrop of the entire Indian diplomatic staff including Ambassador Rudrendra Tandon airlifted to New Delhi in an IAF aircraft.
All Afghans, irrespective of their religion, can apply for the ‘e-Emergency X-Misc Visa‘ online, and the applications will be processed in New Delhi. The announcement came two days after the Taliban captured power in Afghanistan. There are Sikhs and Hindus living in Afghanistan for a long. Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday had appealed to the Central government to bring out Sikhs numbering more than 300.
India on Tuesday managed to evacuate its diplomatic staff including Ambassador Rudrendra Tandon in a C-17 transport aircraft of the IAF from strife-torn Kabul.
“The Ministry of Home Affairs reviews visa provisions in view of the current situation in Afghanistan. A new category of electronic visa called ‘e-Emergency X-Misc Visa’ introduced to fast-track visa applications for entry into India,” officials said. Officials said since Indian missions in Afghanistan are shut, the visa can be applied online and applications will be examined and processed in New Delhi. The visa will initially be valid for six months, they said. Security issues will be looked into while processing the applications and granting the visa to Afghan nationals, the officials said. All Afghans, irrespective of their religion, can apply for the travel document.
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi Tweeted the details of MEA’s 24×7 Special Afghanistan Cell:
MEA’s 24×7 Special Afghanistan Cell has been reinforced.
UPDATED contact details:
Phone numbers: +91-11-49016783, +91-11-49016784, +91-11-49016785
WhatsApp number: +91-8010611290
Email: SituationRoom@mea.gov.in https://t.co/Suc9eF4hDw
— Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) August 17, 2021
India on Tuesday managed to evacuate its diplomatic staff including Ambassador Rudrendra Tandon in a C-17 transport aircraft of the IAF from strife-torn Kabul. Tandon termed the situation in Afghanistan as “fluid” and “not normal.” The safe pull out of nearly 150 people including diplomatic staff and security personnel of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) besides two Delhi-based journalists took place after some high-level talks between Indian and US decision-makers.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar called his US counterpart Anthony Blinken to ensure the safe evacuation of Indian citizens from the Kabul airport now in the control of the US armed forces. Jaishankar is in New York. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval held detailed discussions with his US counterpart Jake Sullivan to coordinate the rescue mission, sources said here on Tuesday.
After these high-level interventions, the Indian group was allowed entry into the US security area at the airport. The C-17 carrying the Indian contingent landed at the Jamnagar airport on later Tuesday morning at about 11.15 en route to Hindon airbase, Ghaziabad. It finally reached Hindon at about 5 pm.
A C-17 plane on Monday morning had also brought out more than 40 Indians including diplomatic staff and landed here. Both the C-17s flew to Kabul and returned circumventing the Pakistani airspace, sources said. The US forces made sure that the two flights landed and took off without a hitch, sources said.
Giving a sense of the current situation in Afghanistan, Ambassador Tandon said the Taliban has taken over Kabul. He said the situation is serious as people are in a state of fear. However, he assured that though they have returned, India has not abandoned the people of Afghanistan and the alliance will continue. Thanking the IAF for evacuating them, he said the flight was undertaken in a crisis situation. The Indian contingent was flown out under conditions “that are not normal,” said Tandon.
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