• Afghan refugees protest near the UNHCR office in Delhi for their security and resettlement


    New Delhi: Refugees from Afghanistan protested near the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in New Delhi on Monday, with a list of demands, including resettlement options in third world countries, refugee cards, and assurance of security from the Indian government and the global bodies.

    A member of the Afghan community asking for assurances of security from the Indian government and the global body. "We are gathered here for three of our demands first, refugee cards to apply for a long-term visa in India. Second, a resettlement option for which we need a supporting letter from the UNHRC so that we can move to another country. Third, security from the Indian government and UNHRC. We do not have any facilities like education and jobs," said Ahmad Zhia Ghani, head of the community in India.

    Desperate Afghan citizens are coming to India after the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban. India will issue emergency e-visas to Afghan nationals who want to come to the country in view of the prevailing crisis in Afghanistan said the Ministry of External Affairs. 'e-Emergency X-Misc Visa' is a website where all Afghans, irrespective of their religion, can apply for the online applications which will be processed in New Delhi. The visas would be valid for six months initially, officials said.

    UNHCR office in New Delhi gives refugee status to Afghans and citizens from other war nations and issues identity cards. But as India is not a signatory of the UN Refugee Convention of 195, Afghans or any group not recognized by the Ministry of home affairs would not be able to enjoy the rights given to other countries like the US. Those who are recognized as refugees by UNHCR are issued an identity card. The UNHCR has a resettlement program that provides permanent residence in another country.

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