'This is why CAA was necessary': Hardeep Singh Puri as India evacuates people from Afghanistan
Amid India's ongoing evacuation from Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover of the country, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Sunday said this shows how necessary it was to enact the Citizenship Amendment Act. "Recent developments in our volatile neighbourhood & the way Sikhs & Hindus are going through a harrowing time are precisely why it was necessary to enact the Citizenship Amendment Act," the minister tweeted.
A special evacuation flight by the Indian Air Force reached the Hindon airbase on Sunday carrying 168 passengers, including former Afghanistan parliamentarians who thanked the Indian government for the evacuation. Arindam Bagchi, the official spokesperson of the external affairs ministry, posted a video of the evacuation where the evacuees can be seen chanting 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' inside the aircraft.
The crisis in Afghanistan has brought the controversial CAA again into discourse as the Citizenship Amendment Act aims to grant Indian citizenship to persecuted Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who arrived in India before the end of December 2014. The rules under the act are yet to be notified.
The Union home ministry said it is committed to repatriating all Indians and Afghan Sikhs and Hindus. The ministry of home affairs has recently reviewed the visa provisions and created a new e-visa category for Afghan nationals -- mainly Hindus and Sikhs -- to apply online.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi early this week chaired a high-level meeting on the Afghan situation and directed officials to ensure the safe evacuation of all Indian citizens and also to provide refuge to Sikhs and Hindus wanting to come to India.
The Taliban on Saturday reportedly stopped a group of 70 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus, which included Sikh members of parliament Anarkali Kaur Honaryar and Narender Pal Singh claiming that the Taliban said that they were Afghan nationals and the flight was meant for Indians.
(With agency inputs)