India says it will help those Hindus and Sikhs who want to leave Afghanistan after the Taliban’s takeover.
India’s Narendra Modi government said it would “facilitate repatriation to India of those who wish to leave Afghanistan”, and Hindus and Sikhs will be given priority.
The government announced a new visa category of E-Visa to fast-track applications from Afghans who wish to leave the country that the Taliban have taken over on Monday.
The spokesperson of the Union Home Ministry said in a tweet, “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.”
The Ministry of External Affairs said it would “facilitate repatriation to India of those who wish to leave Afghanistan” and said Hindus and Sikhs from the country would be given priority.
“The government will take all steps to ensure the safety and security of Indian nationals and our interests in Afghanistan,” foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi told reporters.
Meanwhile, India is bringing its diplomatic staff back.
Mr Bagchi tweeted on Tuesday, “In view of the prevailing circumstances, it has been decided that our Ambassador in Kabul and his Indian staff will move to India immediately.”
NDTV has reported that over 1,000 Indian nationals are still stranded in Afghanistan, where the commercial flights have been suspended.
In a tweet, Punjab’s Chief Minister, Captain Amrinder Singh, said that over 200 Sikhs are trapped in Sikh Temple in Kabul. He urged Foreign Minister Dr S Jaishankar to evacuate all Indians, including those Sikhs.