All Afghan nationals can now travel to India only on an e-visa, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced this afternoon, spotlighting the security situation in the war-ravaged country since the return of the Taliban.
“Owing to the prevailing security situation in Afghanistan, all Afghan nationals henceforth must 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 August 15, the capital city Kabul also fell to the Taliban, even as a large number of Afghans attempted in vain to flee the nation.
The Taliban forces have sought to portray a moderate face than when they first came to power in the late 1990s. But many Afghans remain sceptical of this and fear the return of the “regressive” regime.