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‘We have to wait for a level of trust’, Indian FM on visas for Afghan students

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(Last Updated On: October 3, 2022)

Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar has asked the Afghan students enrolled in Indian universities to wait for a “level of trust and efficiency” to come up to allow visas to be restarted.

Around 2,500 students in Afghanistan continue to wait for any movement from the Indian side to grant them visas to pursue their education in the country.

As the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) took over the over the country in August last year, India suspended all visas. Since then, India has issued only about 300 visas and those have largely been for Afghan Sikhs and Hindus, minorities that have faced persecution.

India restarted its Afghan embassy operations in June, but it’s not full-fledged and has made no difference to the visa waitlist.   

“We had a situation where we had to pull out our embassy, we did not even have a presence on the ground to verify what is what. At that time there was lot of uncertainty about whose passport was whose, whose visa was whose…these are real issues out there,” said Jaishankar, speaking at a session on “Rising India and the World” where an Afghan student studying in Gujarat asked the question about the fate of Afghan students seeking Indian visa.

“India’s feelings for Afghan people, nobody can doubt,” Jaishankar added, referring to India’s aid consignments of wheat, medicines and vaccines to Afghanistan despite a “lot of problems”, and asked the students “to wait for [a] level of trust and efficiency” to come up to allow visas to be restarted. 

At present, an estimated 14,000 Afghan students are believed to be in India, studying at 73 universities.

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US envoy stresses importance of Japan’s contributions to Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: December 3, 2022)

US special envoy for Afghanistan, Thomas West, has held talks with Japanese officials on humanitarian needs, human rights and political dialogue during his two-day visit to the country.

“Japan has been a friend of the Afghan people and our partner there for over 20 yrs, and we deeply appreciate Japan’s active diplomacy and continued generosity today,” West said on Twitter on Saturday.

“We are always stronger, on every challenge, when we act together with allies. True in Afghanistan – we’ll continue to need Japan’s expertise and diverse contributions,” West said.

The envoy also said that he got “sage advice” from Tadamichi Yamamoto, a Japanese who served as UN envoy for Afghanistan during 2016-2020.

He also discussed the economic strategy with Japan International Cooperation Agency.

West’s Japan visit was part of his tour to the region that includes India and the United Arab Emirates.

West is expected to consult with partners and Afghans regarding the humanitarian and economic crises in Afghanistan, protection of Afghans’ rights, and shared security concerns, according to a statement from the US State Department.

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In phone call, Muttaqi assures Zardari of bringing Pakistan embassy attackers to justice

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(Last Updated On: December 3, 2022)

Foreign minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), Amir Khan Muttaqi, phoned his Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and assured that IEA will make utmost efforts to bring perpetrators of Friday’s attack on Pakistan embassy in Kabul to justice.

A security guard was injured in firing on the compound the embassy in Kart-e-Parwan area of Kabul on Friday. Police said the firing was from a building and a suspect was arrested.

Condemning the attack, Muttaqi also assured Zardari that IEA will pay special attention to the security of the embassy, according to a statement from the Afghan foreign ministry.

For his part, the Pakistani foreign minister thanked IEA for its strong expression of solidarity and underscored that safety and security of Pakistan’s diplomatic personnel in Afghanistan was of utmost importance, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

“The Afghan government must prevent the terrorists from undermining relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan.”

Zardari also reiterated “Pakistan’s unwavering commitment to fight terrorism and said that Pakistan will be undeterred by such cowardly attacks.”

Meanwhile, Pakistan foreign ministry’s spokesperson stated that there are no plans to close the embassy or withdraw diplomats from Kabul.

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More tourists visiting Hairatan border town in Balkh

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(Last Updated On: December 2, 2022)

Officials of the trade and port town of Hairatan border town in the center of Balkh province say that with the arrival of the fishing season and security improvement in the country, dozens of people come to this town every day for tourism and recreation.

Khalilullah Farooqi, the head of Hairatan border town, said that people can come to this recreational area without any worries.

“People can visit and have fun in this town without worrying under Islamic Sharia law,” said Farooqi.

The citizens meanwhile consider the improvement of security as the reason for the increase in the number of visitors to this town and express their satisfaction, calling on the government to expand recreational places in the country.

Hairatan border town is one of the largest commercial ports in the north of the country, which connects Afghanistan with Uzbekistan and other countries in the region.

According to experts, the more attention is paid to the country’s ports and the more infrastructure is built, the higher the government’s revenue will be.

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