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Committed to the Afghan people, India starts online e-visas

The Taliban takeover has put the Afghan people in a quandary (Photo: IANS)

With a majority of Afghans scurrying to get out of the country in the face of an uncertain future, India has opened up emergency e-visa for them.

Irrespective of the religion, Afghans can apply online for the 'e-Emergency X-Misc Visa'. The applications will be processed in New Delhi as India closed down its missions in Afghanistan.

A Home Ministry spokesperson said: "The MHA 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". India made the announcement on Tuesday – two days after the Taliban captured Afghan capital Kabul.

Former Indian envoy to Armenia and Georgia, Achal Malhotra told India Narrative: "This is an important decision. We enjoy a lot of goodwill among the Afghan people. The need of the hour is to let the Afghans know that they have not been abandoned. Not by India at least".

Malhotra says that we have to look at this issue from a humanitarian standpoint.

The X-miscellaneous visa will be a single entry visa, valid for six months. India will look at security issues while processing these applications.

Thousands of Afghans live in India after they were provided long duration visas during the initial takeover of the country by the Taliban. These visas apply to those people who face persecution and not those who apply for economic reasons.

Panic gripped Afghanistan on Sunday when reports came in that Taliban fighters had entered Kabul. Thousands of Afghans flooded the Hamid Karzai airport in a desperate bid to escape their future under a Taliban regime. Some even jumped on to US military aircraft in a bid to escape but plunged to their death from the skies.

"Afghans are largely feeling let down by the international community. The world has to come together to not just provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan but also try to absorb as many Afghans as possible – particularly those who are at risk from the Taliban", says Malhotra.