India announced new visa for Afghans

Union Ministry of Home affairs (MHA) has announced a new category of visa for Afghans on August 17, 2021.

Key Points

  • MHA took this decision in the aftermath of prevailing situation in Afghanistan.
  • A new category of electronic visa has been announced to fast-track their applications for entry into India. This electronic visa is dubbed as “e-Emergency X-Misc Visa”.
  • Government has also announced that it will allow people belonging to non-Muslim minority of Afghanistan to come to India.

Taliban regime in Afghanistan

Taliban fighters seized Afghanistan by taking complete control of Kabul on August 15, 2021. Following the fall of Kabul, militant Islamist group announced an end to the 20-year war and declared its victory over Afghanistan.

India’s interest in Afghanistan

After Taliban troops took control of Kabul, India finds its strategic interests threatened in the region. India started looking after Afghanistan post operation ‘Enduring Freedom’ by US. After this operation ended in 2014, India started extending its friendly relation with Afghanistan government including the long-term strategic interest and immediate humanitarian effort. India built projects like roads, dams, electricity transmission lines & substations, schools and hospitals in Afghanistan. India’s development assistance is estimated to be around $3 billion.

How it impacts India’s foreign policy?

Taliban’s seizing of Afghanistan now pose threat to India’s strategic interests including projects like Stor Palace and Salma Dam.

Impact of Taliban’s control in India

  1. Taliban is only 400 km away from the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir region. It has captured Badakhshan province in Afghanistan, near to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. It puts them in a position to export terrorism in India. Taliban would now expand training facilities and bases for these militant groups in Afghanistan, leading to rise in terrorism.
  2. Reports suggest that, Taliban has the support of Pakistan. Furthermore, China has stated its willingness to develop friendly relations with Taliban. This would not be in favour of India.

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