India’s Jaishankar meets with Sikh refugees from Afghanistan

Source: PTI

India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met with Sikh refugees from Afghanistan in Delhi on Thursday and suggested there was a chance they could get multiple-entry visas in order to travel easily between the two countries.

Jaishankar said there was a “good case” of providing these visas which would allow the Sikh refugees to return to Afghanistan to tend to their properties and gurdwaras.

Speaking to local media, Jaishankar said: “I wanted to listen to their concerns. They raised their issues – some want to go back since they have property there. There was also concern about gurdwaras there.”

He also said the refugees had “a good case of traveling to Afghanistan and coming back and they should be given multiple or double, triple-entry visas. Another issue was how to take forward citizenship as some people are awaiting it.”

Jaishankar also promised to look into the concerns of the Sikh refugees regarding their citizenship status, passports, and schooling for their children.

He told journalists that he found some refugees who took on Indian citizenship because of their children, later faced problems. “It should not be like that. Instead of helping them, the system puts more burden on them.”

He said that the Sikh refugees could not have been left to fend for themselves in Afghanistan. “We will certainly do whatever we can do to address their demands and concerns,” he said.