The Taliban administration has declared that it will request India to issue visas to Afghan students who are now enrolled in Indian universities but have not been able to return to finish their studies since COVID-19 restrictions were dropped.
The Taliban’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amir Khan Muttaqi, promised to do everything in his power to help the students complete their education in India, during a meeting with Afghan students on Monday, July 4 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul.
According Hafiz Zia Ahmad, the deputy spokesperson for the foreign ministry, the students urged the foreign minister to support their request to return to India and continue their education.
The Taliban minister promised his audience that he would “task the relevant departments to raise the students’ concerns with the Indian embassy and find a resolution to their problems.”
Over 13,000 Afghan students are admitted to Indian universities, according to the Afghan embassy. However, as schools closed and switched entirely to virtual learning in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many students had to return home.
The Foreign Minister’s promise comes at a time when only lower-level diplomats are working in the recently reopened Indian embassy. The stated purpose of this is to organize the distribution of humanitarian aid.
The Taliban regime is still not officially recognized diplomatically by India.