Afghan students in Pune are concerned about the safety of their relatives back home; some have applied for visa extensions

Pune: As Afghanistan falls to the Taliban after a bloody offensive, causing chaos and uncertainty, students from the war-torn country studying in Pune are concerned, as most of them are unable to communicate with family members back home, and some are seeking visa extensions to extend their stay here.
According to the Afghan Students Association, Pune, there are approximately 3,000 students from the neighbouring country studying in various institutes in the city. One of the main demands of Afghan students is the extension of visas that are about to expire, so that these students can stay in India until the situation in their home country improves.

According to Wali Rehman Rehmani, president of the Afghan Students Association in Pune, there are approximately 3,000 Afghan students studying in various educational institutes in the city.

“Some students were able to establish contacts with their family back home,” he said, “but there are several others who are still unable to connect with their parents and families.” He stated that the organisation is attempting to assist these students in contacting their families back home. According to Rehmani, some students’ visas are about to expire.

“We are urging the Indian government to extend their visas until the situation in their home country improves,” he said. “We are trying to extend all possible support to fellow Afghan students,” said Abba Oumar, president of the Federation of International Students Association (FISA), in these difficult times.

Shukrullah Ahamadi (25), a private university MBA student, said he hasn’t spoken to his family in Afghanistan in three days, during which time Taliban fighters have made lightning advances towards Kabul.

“Back home, the situation is terrifying and frightening. We never imagined ourselves in such a situation. My hometown in Logar province, which is only about 50 kilometres from Kabul, has no Internet or phone service, and I am unable to communicate with my family “He stated. Ahamadi’s immediate family consists of his mother and three elder brothers, and he last visited his hometown in 2018. He stated that the Indian government should extend the visas of students whose stay is coming to an end soon because returning to Afghanistan at this time is dangerous.

“They will not be safe if they go there. Even though they are separated from their families, they are safe here “Ahamadi went on to say. Farzana, a third-year management student at Savitribai Phule Pune University, expressed grave concern for her family’s safety back home.

“As the country’s situation deteriorates, I am growing increasingly concerned for my family. I found out the last time I spoke with them that they couldn’t even withdraw money from the bank “She continued.

Sanjay Nahar, founder-president of NGO Sarhad, stated that in order to assist Afghan students, his organisation has established a helpline (8007066900) and urged them to contact his organisation if they require assistance. After Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, the Taliban swept into Kabul on Sunday. The Kabul airport was chaotic as thousands attempted to flee the country following the Taliban’s takeover.

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