NEW DELHI — Over the deportation of a woman Afghan parliamentarian from Delhi, Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of Opposition, said that the Central government has expressed its regret and assured that such a mistake would not happen in the future.
The issue was raised in an all-party briefing on Afghanistan by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar.
A woman member of the Afghan parliament, who claimed she was deported from New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport on Aug. 20, had failed to show any documents of her medical treatment in India nor any reference from the Afghanistan Embassy, government officials said.
Rangina Kargar, a member of the Wolesi Jirga (House of the People of Afghanistan), representing the Faryab province, arrived at the Indira Gandhi International Airport on Aug. 20. She was not allowed to move outside the airport after she failed to provide visa documents.
“The government is of the view of wait and watch before taking any action with respect to the situation in Afghanistan, and all parties supported the Centre on the matter,” said Kharge.
“This is the entire country’s problem. We have to work together for the interests of people and the nation. They told us to wait and watch. Meaning, the further course of action will be decided after looking at the actions of other countries. All parties have taken the same view.”
“We raised the issue of a female (Afghan) diplomat who was deported. They said that they made a mistake, it won’t be repeated, and they will look into the matter,” said Kharge referring to the alleged deportation of Afghan Member of Parliament Rangina Kargar.
Meanwhile, government sources said that Kargar, who claimed she was deported from New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport on Aug. 20, had failed to show any documents of her medical treatment in India nor any reference from the Afghanistan Embassy.
Kharge said Congress also raised Afghan students studying in India and other Afghan nationals living in the country. The government assured the Opposition that it will work in their interest.
After the all-party meeting, Jaishankar said that all political parties, including the government, have a “strong national position” on developments concerning Afghanistan. The Centre has approached this current situation in the “spirit of national unity.”
As per a senior government official, Kargar arrived at Indira Gandhi International Airport on a Dubai flight and held a diplomatic passport that facilitated visa-free travel under a reciprocal arrangement with India for 30 days.
However, after the turmoil in Afghanistan, all kinds of visas had been canceled except e-visas, which are the only ones allowed.
“An immigration officer asked Kargar to provide details of the medical treatment or the hospital she was going to visit or the details of the doctor she was going to consult, but she failed to provide any details to substantiate her purpose of arrival,” said the official.
“She couldn’t even provide any reference from the Afghanistan Embassy. She was never deported but was not allowed to leave the airport, and she went back on the same flight on which she arrived.”
In January 2016, a pact was signed between India and Afghanistan for visa-free travel of their diplomats, which was implemented from June 20, 2016, onwards.
Another officer said that the pact was signed between two democratically elected governments to provide smooth travel to their diplomats, “but the present situation in Afghanistan is not the same as it was in 2016 or before the Taliban took over the government.”
(With inputs from ANI)
Edited by Saptak Datta and Ritaban Misra
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