New Delhi: Puneet Singh Chandhok, President of the Indian World Forum on Friday, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanking him for providing humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and for undertaking efforts for the welfare of Afghan Hindu and Sikh minorities and ensuring their safe evacuation.

Notably, the Government of India from time to time has granted citizenship and Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) to Afghan Hindus and Sikhs. In the letter, Chandhok urged the government to process the remaining pending citizenship applications.

The IWF president urges the country to consider the setup of a single-window facility in particular for Afghan Minorities for processing their fresh and pending applications in a time-bound manner.

After the Taliban took over Kabul in August 2021, all the earlier visas issued to Afghans have been invalidated for those out of the country. As these Afghans now seek fresh e-visa, he urged the government to process these pending applications.

"Government may consider and set up a dedicated cell for issuance and processing of fresh visas, conversion into LTV Visas, residential permits and exit permits for Afghan minorities in a time-bound manner along with easing of restrictions including the requirement of a local guarantor", he said.

He also pointed out that India may consider maintaining the Gurdwaras and Mandirs in Afghanistan in coordination with International agencies as it is likely that disgruntled elements may grab the personal estate of minorities.

Talking about the Hindus and Sikhs who have been displaced from the war-torn Islamic nation, he urged PM Modi to consider setting an "Afghan Nagar" at any suitable location by providing land on a gratis basis.

In the letter, he said, "detailed mechanism may be adopted wherein the allotment, construction and development cost may be jointly borne by the community at large."

Chandhok also said that Afghan Hindu and Sikh youth have a strong built-in particular known for their fearless combat and bravery and they can be put under training and be recruited in Armed Forces and Central Police Organisations under a special drive.

He also praised the leadership for the transfer of holy books from Afghanistan to India including Sri Guru Granth Sahib and ancient Hindu scriptures.