Grant 2500 Afghan students visas to complete studies, Afghan envoy urges India

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Dec 07, 2021, 10:35 PM(IST)

Afghanistan's envoy to India Farid Mamundzay talks to WION. Photograph:( WION )

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'It is important to bring these 2500 student to India in order to resume their studies and hopefully contribute to rebuilding of Afghanistan in future,' Envoy Farid Mamundzay said

Afghanistan's envoy to India, Farid Mamundzay, has urged Indian government to grant visas to 2,500 Afghan students so that they can come back and complete studies in India.

These students have been studying in Indian universities such as University of Delhi, Osmania, JNU and lot of them in cities like Pune. Many of these students are first second and third year students.

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"It is important to bring these 2500 student to India in order to resume their studies and hopefully contribute to rebuilding of Afghanistan in future," Envoy Farid Mamundzay said, and added that "overnight they haven't become Taliban".

As Afghanistan fell into the hands of Taliban on August 15, many of these Afghan students were stuck in the country. On August 25, India's ministry of home affairs announced that it has terminated all previously issued visas to Afghan nationals and new e-Emergency X-Misc visa system was instituted. The ministry in its release that day said, "Owing to the prevailing security situation in Afghanistan and streamlining of the visa process by introduction of the e-Emergency X-Misc visa, it has been decided that all Afghan nationals henceforth must travel to India only on e-Visa."

As of November, India has given 200 e-Emergency X-Misc visas to Afghans. That is around four visas per million, far less that many United States and many European countries. Now, New Delhi has extended visas of 4,557 Afghans who are staying in India in view of the current turmoil in that country.

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India also evacuated 565 people including 438 Indians from Afghanistan, post Taliban takeover of the country under the "Operation Devi Shakti". The special Afghanistan cell of ministry of external affairs has been in touch with the remaining stranded Indians as well as members of the Afghan minority community.

India has been a hub for education for Afghan students since decades. Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai is a pass out of Himachal Pradesh University; he had come to India as an exchange student in 1976. Former Afghan President Mohammad Najibullah, who was killed by Taliban in 1996, was an alumni of St Joseph's school in Baramulla, Jammu and Kashmir, India.

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