Amidst the Taliban take over of Afghanistan fuelling the worst humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country, the New York Times has yet against caught peddling misinformation blatant lies targetting the Indian government over its visa policy to allow Afghan nationals.
On Tuesday, the American news publication New York Times published an article claiming that the Indian government has announced it would prioritise allowing only persecuted Hindus and Sikhs from Afghanistan to enter the country amidst the Taliban scare.
India said it would prioritize the repatriation of Hindus and Sikhs from Afghanistan. The move drew comparisons to a recent citizenship law that discriminates against Muslims.https://t.co/vldjYN4ZOY— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 17, 2021
The controversial left-wing outlet, which has can been caught several times for publishing anti-India propaganda, continued to peddle misinformation saying that India’s decision was similar to the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019, passed by the Indian government to grant citizenship to the six persecuted minorities of three neighbouring Islamic countries, which according to NYT was “discriminatory against Muslims”.
It is notable here that the CAA was widely castigated as ‘discriminatory against Muslims’ by leftist media outlets in India and abroad. In reality, the CAA had nothing to do with the citizenship status of Indian Muslims, and it had no restrictions on Muslims from other nations applying for citizenship or coming to India the regular way.
In its report, the New York Times claimed that the country’s Home Ministry said it would introduce “emergency visas” to allow Afghans to stay in India for six months. However, the report claims that it did not say whether Afghan Muslims, who, according to NYT, make up the majority of those seeking to leave Afghanistan as the Taliban take over, would also be considered or not.
Quoting far-left protestors and anti-India elements, New York Times peddled misinformation that the Indian government was discriminating against Muslims and was favouring the refugees on the basis of religion.
New York Times peddles misinformation about India’s visa policy to Afghan nationals
However, in a hurry to target the Indian government, the New York Times put out half-truths about the Indian government’s goodwill gesture to allow Afghan nationals to Indian after the war-torn country was captured by the Islamic terror group Taliban.
The NYT’s claim that India has adopted a ‘religious’ criteria to grant asylum to Afghan citizens is not true. In reality, the Indian government promptly introduced an emergency e-visa for Afghanistan nationals as soon as the humanitarian crisis struck the war-torn country.
In the wake of the prevailing situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban captured power, the Indian government introduced a new category of e-visa for Afghan nationals to fast-track their applications for entry into India. However, these visas will be valid for six months only and will be granted only after security clearance.
“MHA reviews visa provisions in view of the current situation in Afghanistan. A new category of electronic visa called “e-Emergency X-Misc Visa” introduced to fast-track visa applications for entry into India,” a statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said on Tuesday.
MHA reviews visa provisions in view of the current situation in Afghanistan. A new category of electronic visa called “e-Emergency X-Misc Visa” introduced to fast-track visa applications for entry into India.@HMOIndia @PIB_India @DDNewslive @airnewsalerts— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) August 17, 2021
The visa under the emergency category is being granted to facilitate the stay of Afghan nationals fleeing Afghanistan does not have any religious criteria as claimed by the New York Times in its report. Even though India does not have a refugee policy, the government grants shelter to foreigners facing persecution in their countries on a case-to-case basis.
Indian government issues emergency visas to Afghan nationals
Despite opposition from varied sections of the country against allowing the Afghan nationals into the government, the Government of India has decided to go ahead with granting emergency Visas to the Afghan nationals, irrespective of their religion.
As per MHA’s visa policy, foreign nationals applying for a visa for any purposes that are not specifically covered under any visa category may be granted an “X-Misc” Visa for the appropriate duration and granting of such visas are decided on a case-by-case basis.
In fact, in the backdrop of events in Afghanistan, Prime Minister Modi had chaired Cabinet Committee on Security meeting on Tuesday to discuss the prevailing situation of the possible influx of Afghan nationals. In the meeting, it was reportedly decided that India should open its doors to provide refuge to those Sikh and Hindu minorities of Afghanistan but also to help the Afghan nationals who are looking towards India for assistance.
“India must not only protect our citizens, but we must also provide refuge to those Sikh and Hindu minorities who want to come to India, and we must also provide all possible help to our Afghan brothers and sisters who are looking towards India for assistance”.— Sidhant Sibal (@sidhant) August 17, 2021
PM at CCS meet https://t.co/mYHzUJzsws
Most importantly, this is not the first time India is allowing Afghan nationals, irrespective of religion, to enter India. In the past, the Indian government had granted long duration visas to Afghan nationals of all religions facing persecution in that country and a large number of Afghans who fled the country during the first Taliban takeover. Besides, several Afghan nationals, including Muslims, continue to live in India.
Despite India officially stating that it has decided to grant emergency Visas to the Afghan nationals, the New York Times continues to peddle lies about the Indian government to claim that the Modi government is allowing persecuted Afghan nationals on the basis of religion.