New Delhi: All Afghan nationals can now travel to India only on e-visa, the home ministry announced this afternoon, highlighting the security situation in the war-ravaged country since the withdrawal of the Taliban.
“Due to the current security situation in Afghanistan, all Afghan nationals should henceforth travel to India only on e-visa,” the ministry said in a statement.
A total of 626 people, including 228 Indian citizens, have been evacuated from Afghanistan till now, informed Minister Hardeep Puri. He also informed that 77 among them were Afghan Sikhs. The number of Indian citizens evacuated does not include those working in the Indian Embassy, Mr Puri added.
India had earlier announced that it would “facilitate repatriation to India of those who wish to leave Afghanistan” and said Hindus and Sikhs from the country will be given priority.
The Taliban swept across Afghanistan this month, seizing control of almost all key towns and cities in the backdrop of withdrawal of the US forces that began on May 1.
On 15 August, the capital city of Kabul also came under Taliban control, even as large numbers of Afghans attempted in vain to flee the nation.
Taliban forces have sought to present a more moderate face than when they first came to power in the late 1990s. But many Afghans doubt this and fear the return of the “regressive” regime.