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India

Updated on: Monday, August 23, 2021, 02:30 PM IST

Only American, NATO citizens and green card holders to be allowed into Kabul airport, says report - Where does that leave India?

Afghans gather on a roadside near the military part of the airport in Kabul on August 20, 2021, hoping to flee from the country after the Talibans military takeover of Afghanistan. | AFP

Afghans gather on a roadside near the military part of the airport in Kabul on August 20, 2021, hoping to flee from the country after the Talibans military takeover of Afghanistan. | AFP

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A week after the Taliban took over Afghanistan, reports on Monday suggested that only Americans, NATO citizens and green card holders will now be allowed into Kabul airport. And as thousands scramble to leave the country, it now presents an additional question: How will countries that are not on the above mentioned list evacuate their citizens?

According to a CNN report that cites sources, the United States will only allow its citizens, people from other NATO countries, and green card holders to enter from August 23. Earlier, on August 21, a report quoting government sources had said that the US and NATO forces had allowed the India to operate wo flights per day from Kabul to evacuate its nationals stranded in Afghanistan. It was not immediately clear how the latest update would affect India's ongoing evacuation efforts.

According to the CNN report, Afghans who had worked with western agencies including the NATO will not be able to enter now. Others who have applied for the US Special Immigrant Visa programme will also be similarly barred. Eligible US or NATO citizens can only bring immediate family members such as spouses and children with them.

The present day list of NATO nations include Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the United States, Greece, Turkey, Germany, Spain, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania, Croatia, Montenegro and North Macedonia.

The CNN report also quotes the source to add that there were "no plans to kick people off the airport". This in turn would leave thousands in a state of limbo. With the US and NATO authorities essentially leading the evacuation efforts, it is unclear whether other nations (such as India) will now be aided in their evacuation efforts or whether things have been put on hold.

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Further details awaited.

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Published on: Monday, August 23, 2021, 02:30 PM IST
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