After the NDA Government came into action, it relaxed rules for Pakistani minorities wanting to move to India on a long-term visa for their safety. The parliament finally amended the Citizenship Bill that was stuck since 2016 that clears the proposal that grants long-term visas to Afghan minorities and refugees.
Liberalizing visa norms and permits will strengthen the relationship between India and Afghanistan. After relaxing rules for Pakistani minorities in 2014, the Modi government allowed non-muslims from Bangladesh to apply for long-term visas that last for five years. Until now, there wasn’t any confirmed status of Afghan minorities, but they were dealing with case by case. Minorities from Afghanistan are non-muslims and Sikhs who wanted to leave the country because of religious persecution. Ashok Prasad, a spokesperson for the Home Ministry, declined to comment on the issue because the Afghan visa policy was classified.
Afghanistan has around 6,000 Hindus and non-muslims who want to come to India. A government official said that the decision to grant long-term visas to Afghans was given after the government received a lot of visa requests. If the government had cleared the amendment in 2016 itself, people from neighboring countries would’ve been able to live in India without requiring any legal documents.
The Indian government didn’t amend the act back in 2016 but suddenly chose to do it now. Many feel that it is because Pakistan imposed visa restrictions of Afghans entering the country. The official added that for the one year visa, India had increased the stay from 30 days at a time to 90 days at a time. Also, the government has relaxed rules for business and student visas for the Afghans. Non-muslim Afghans have always considered living in India because it is a democratic country and they even get to buy a small house and a car in the country.