India has regularized the visa of Afghan nationals staying in the country, MEA says
India will continue its “efforts to assist the people of Afghanistan,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday (October 5, 2023), days after the Afghan Embassy in New Delhi announced the closure of its operations.
“Our understanding is that the Embassy in New Delhi is functioning or continuing to function. We are in touch with the Afghan diplomats who are there in that Embassy, as well as with the Afghan diplomats who are at the Consulates in Mumbai and Hyderabad,” MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in response to questions at the weekly media briefing.
Bagchi acknowledged that a communication was received last week, “purportedly from the Embassy, indicating that it intends to suspend operations at the end of September,” adding that such a decision was an internal matter of a foreign Mission.  
“However, we have noted that the Afghan Consulates General in Mumbai and in Hyderabad voiced their objection to such a decision. We are also aware that there has been a prolonged absence of the Ambassador and that a large number of Afghan diplomats have left India in the recent past,” the MEA Spokesperson said.
He went on to express the hope that the substantial number of Afghan nationals in India, including students, would be able to continue to receive necessary consular support. “On our part, we will continue with our efforts to assist the people of Afghanistan,” Bagchi emphasized.
Responding to another question, the MEA Spokesperson said, “In terms of assistance, whoever is here, the visas have been regularized, they've been staying here if they are unable to return or some other reason. They're here for various reasons. Some are students, some have done ITEC courses. Those who are unable to return, their visas are being regularized on an ongoing basis”.
Bagchi added that the India Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) had announced 1000 online courses for students from Afghanistan a few weeks ago. “Our assistance programs for the people of Afghanistan have continued. We have a technical team precisely for that reason in Kabul so that we are able to continue that assistance,” he remarked.