India denies extension in Afghan students’ visa, scholarship programme
ISLAMABAD: (APP)India is denying hundreds of Afghan students studying in its universities an extension in their visas raising fears about their legal status in the host country.
According to media reports, about 21,000 Afghan citizens had settled in India including 11,000 asylum seekers, but they were not included in the category of refugees.
Under its Foreigners Act 1946, India categories Afghan refugees and asylum seekers as illegal expatriates and the law hampers any access to basic facilities.
Such a scenario exposes India’s tall claims of being a friendly nation to Afghans as the Afghan nationals living there have been subject to extreme social and economic constraints for the last 15 years. They have neither access to earning livelihood nor are entitled to education and health facilities.
In the year 2022, India, despite knowing that hundreds of Afghan students were studying at its universities, had rescinded their visas.
A few days back, a large number of Afghan students had also staged a protest in New Delhi for an extension of their stay and resumption of their studies.
After the expiry of their visas, these students sounded their constant fear of police arrest.
India, in the past, had offered scholarships to thousands of overseas students from countries such as Afghanistan to pursue undergraduate and post-graduate degrees.
The students are neither getting scholarships nor permission to work in India, media reports further added.