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Saudi, India cut number of visas to Afghans: Rabbani

Saudi, India cut number of visas to Afghans: Rabbani

May 01, 2016 - 16:43

KABUL (Pajhwok): Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani said on Sunday India and Saudi Arabia had imposed new restrictions on visas to Afghans for some reasons.

Briefing the Meshrano Jirga or Senate, Rabbani said India had blamed the move on the use of Afghan passports by foreigners and Saudi Arabia reduced the number of visas to Afghans after some Afghans failed to leave the kingdom despite expiry of their visas.

The minister said Saudi had been denying visas to Afghans aged below 40 years over the past few years because most of them did not return home country after the expiry of their visas.

Rabbani said it was a security issue and the Saud government would start issuing visas to even less than 30 years old Afghans once getting assurance.

The foreign minister said discussions had been launched over the issue and the president during a telephonic conversation had discussed the matter with the king of Saudi Arabia.

Rabbani said Afghans, who traveled to Saudi on Pakistani passports, would be distributed Afghan passports and this issue had been resolved to some extent.

He said a mechanism had been put in place under which Afghan labourers would be sent to Saudi Arabia.

He told lawmakers India was not denying visas to Afghan citizens, but the country had brought some changes to the visa regime.

The foreign minister said Afghans traveling to India should have bank account and those going to India for treatment should produce report that approves he/she could not be treated inside Afghanistan.