Students in Afghanistan hopeful of return to India as Taliban promises action

In a series of tweets, Deputy Spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry of Afghanistan, Hafiz Zia Ahmad said that addressing the challenges of Afghan students was a priority for Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Amir Khan Muttaqi.

Abhishek NairUpdated: Wednesday, July 06, 2022, 01:48 PM IST
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Afghan students, who have taken admissions in Indian universities, protesting in front of the Indian Embassy |

Kabul: The Taliban government in a meeting with Afghan students assured them that their demands regarding visas and classes will be raised with the Indian Embassy, as more than 2,500 pupils from the war-torn country have taken admissions in Indian universities. The statement by the Taliban comes amid a meeting between Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi and Afghan students, during which the latter sought an early return to India and resumption of their classes.

What the Taliban said about the return of Afghan students to India

In a series of tweets, Deputy Spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry of Afghanistan, Hafiz Zia Ahmad said that addressing the challenges of Afghan students was a priority for Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Amir Khan Muttaqi. “Calling Afghan students the country's assets, FM Muttaqi assured them that he would exert utmost efforts for the return of Afghan students to complete their studies. He added that addressing the Afghan students’ challenges was a priority for him, & to this end, he would task the relevant departments to raise the students' demands with the Indian embassy & find a resolution to their problems,” said the tweet by Ahmad.

The students were also able to meet with a few members of the Indian delegation present in Afghanistan. The students present raised their concerns over the visa issues and handed over a letter signed by them to the members of the Indian delegation who aim to share the pleas with the External Affairs Ministry.

Students hopeful yet skeptical

Students who live in some of the major cities of Afghanistan such as Kabul, Kandahar, Herat, etc. told the Free Press Journal that though the development is welcome, they are still in a wait and watch mode.

“We are missing our classes daily, and many of us have not been able to attend examinations. Many also come to India for business and healthcare. Since so many individuals are reliant on the institutions in India, I hope visas are not denied to us anymore,” said Iqbal Ilhas, an Afghan student.

Noor Paiman, a student in the city of Khost, who is studying Bsc Computer Science at Sharda University fears he will lose an entire academic year considering the college authorities want pupils at the campus by July 15. “During the meetings with government officials in Afghanistan, our issues were given top priority. Our specific concerns were given top priority, in a first, by the officials and I am thankful for that but any more delay in the same would possibly result in our admissions getting cancelled,” said Noor, who dreams of being a lecturer himself in the future.

Others have pointed out that many countries have allowed Afghan students to return, with India not taking a step in the same direction. “We have notified the Indian authorities that students from countries such as China, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Malaysia have encouraged the return of Afghan students unlike the ones enrolled in Indian universities,” said Noorul, who added that he supports and appreciates the help provided by India to Afghan youth.

Authorities in touch with Indian universities

In an interview with the Free Press Journal, Press Secretary to the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, New Delhi, Mr. Abdulhaq Azad had mentioned that he expected a positive outcome in the case of Afghan students soon albeit there’s no confirmation regarding their return yet. “So far we haven't received any confirmation from the authorities regarding the issuance of visas for the students but we expect a solution to the problem in the coming months," said Mr. Azad, who added that they are in touch with Indian universities regarding the matter.

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