- The Afghanistan conundrum increasingly appears to be spiraling out of control even as the Taliban administration makes every effort to carelessly push its medieval and anachronistic inhuman practices on the citizens. Whatever was promised before the Taliban took over the country’s reigns from the foreign peacekeeping forces has come a cropper. The grave humanitarian crisis staring the hapless citizens in terms of leading a dignified living is almost non-existent. The world community has given up on the landlocked and battle-scarred region for good. Of course, the Pakistan-backed Taliban faction is also hell-bent on fomenting further trouble by imposing its own agenda much to the chagrin of the cornered citizens. Something needs to be done though.
PC: Sakshi Gupta
- Of course, people of Indian origin who continue to stay put in the country too are affected and are in dire need of relief from the everyday challenges. The international community is well aware of the anti-social terrorist elements striking at will against the civilian population leading to incidents of macabre killings. One such incident reported last Saturday when a terror attack on Kabul’s Karte Parwan Gurdwara that killed three people, including an Afghan Sikh, shows again Taliban is not in full control of the war-ravaged country. IS has claimed credit for the latest attack. As mentioned above, ten months after the Taliban takeover, the Afghan economy has gone into a tailspin, hunger is acute, and women’s rights are fast disappearing. The list of agony is endless.
- Needless to mention, such attacks like the latest make many Afghan nationals, as well as a few remaining Indians, desperate to fly out to India. For the uninitiated, close on the heels of the Taliban’s takeover, the Government of India instituted an e-emergency visa category for Afghan nationals wanting to travel to India. Unfortunately, these visa applications are backed up with only around 200 being cleared till last December. True, the Government of India immediately cleared over 100 e-emergency visas for Afghan Sikhs and Hindus, a day after the gurdwara attack. However, such selective clearance of visas is a poor policy benefitting minuscule numbers even as hundreds are stuck waiting for their turn to be rescued from hell.
- Mind you, Indian efforts over the last two decades created considerable goodwill among the Afghan people. Squandering that now will only work to the advantage of sworn adversaries Pakistan and China. Another problem is the lack of flights between India and Afghanistan, making it extremely difficult for those who want to get out. With India now officially engaging the Taliban, the Government of India must clear more flights between the two countries, starting with Afghan carriers. Concurrently, it must expedite e-emergency and medical visas for Afghan nationals, as well as student visas for Afghan students accepted by Indian universities. This way India will be in a position to retain its strategic interests in Afghanistan and hence, should be pursued diligently.