Union urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Sunday cited the harrowing experiences of Hindus and Sikhs amid the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan as a justification behind the need for the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Notably, the law passed in December 2019 provides Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslims who reached India before 2015.
Hardeep Singh Puri, while quoting a media report on the evacuation of 168 people—which included 23 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus—from Kabul by the Indian Air Force, said the religious minorities were going through a “harrowing time”.
“Recent developments in our volatile neighbourhood and the way Sikhs and Hindus are going through a harrowing time are precisely why it was necessary to enact the Citizenship Amendment Act,” the Union minister tweeted.
The CAA promises permanent citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan fleeing religious persecution.
Over the past week, hundreds of Afghan Sikhs and Hindus have been queueing up at the Kabul International airport, looking for a way out of Afghanistan amid the Taliban takeover. Fearful of religious persecution, these minorities are pleading to the governments of India, the US and Canada to be evacuated from the war-torn country at the earliest.
India brought back 400 people from Afghanistan
India on Sunday brought back nearly 400 people, including 329 of its nationals and two Afghan lawmakers, in three different flights as part of its efforts to evacuate its citizens from Kabul in the backdrop of the deteriorating situation in the city.
The Indian Air Force on Sunday brought back 168 passengers from war-torn Afghanistan, including 107 Indians. The special repatriation flight took off from Kabul and landed at the Hindon airbase near the national capital today morning.
Apart from bringing back Indians stuck in the Taliban-controlled nation, it also brought back two Afghan senators and 24 Afghan Sikhs. Afghanistan’s MP Narendra Singh Khalsa was visibly emotional while reiterating the devastation caused by the terror group in the country. Upon arrival in Delhi, Khalsa said, “I feel like crying…Everything that was built in the last 20 years is now finished. It’s zero now.”
Three other flights operated by Air India, Vistara and Indigo brought back Indians evacuated from Kabul and landed in New Delhi from Qatar’s Doha and Tajikistan’s Dushanbe on Sunday.
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