Gulf Countries Current Affairs - 2019

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Nepalese nationals must have visa to enter India via Pakistan, China.

According to a notice issued by Nepalese Embassy in New Delhi, Nepalese nationals is required to have visa if they are entering India from Pakistan, China, Hong Kong and Macau. As per the Nepal foreign ministry, there are 4 million Nepalese working and studying in India.

Key Highlights

The Nepalese Embassy also notified that a citizen of Nepal who wants to pass immigration clearance of India while travelling to Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Lebanon, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain are required to acquire No Objection Certificate (NOC) from respective Nepalese Embassies situated in those countries.

To get NOC, a traveler must have to submit an application to respective embassy along with relevant documents, including ticket and visa of the destination country, employment permit.

Reason: An open boarder allows Nepalese nationals an easy path to enter India and some of whom subsequently travel to Gulf countries for work. Thus, the decision that a Nepalese citizens now mandatory require NOC to enter Gulf countries via India, is taken amid raising security concerns. However in past, no separate permit was required to travel any country through Indian immigration clearance.

Background

As per existing rule, a citizen of Nepal entering India by land/air directly from Nepal does not require a passport/Visa, but is required to possess an identity card that establishes his/her identity as a Nepalese national. However, for security reasons a citizen of Nepal is generally asked for Passport when entering India from a place other than Nepal.

The ID documents which are considered valid for verifying individual’s identity includes Nepalese Passport, Nepalese Citizenship Certificate, Voter’s ID Card issued by Election Commission of Nepal and Limited Validity photo-identity certificate issued by Nepalese Embassy in India when deemed necessary.

For children between 10-18 years of age, who are travelling with their parents, photo ID issued by Principal of their School, are considered as valid travel documents.

India, a Key Hub for Illicit Drug Trade: UNODC

The latest report released by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has referred to India as a Key Hub for Illicit Drug Trade.

Findings of the UNODC Report

  • India is one of the major hubs of illicit drug trade ranging from age-old cannabis to newer prescription drugs like tramadol, and designer drugs like methamphetamine.
  • The global trend of purchasing drugs over the internet, particularly on darknet trading platforms using cryptocurrencies has spread across South Asia and it is particularly rampant in India.
  • The study has found more than 1,000 drug listings from India published across 50 online crypto-market platforms.
  • The report also states that in 2017 Indian authorities have dismantled two illicit Internet pharmacies, seizing close to 130,000 tablets containing psychotropic substances.
  • India has also become a transit country for illicitly produced opiates, in particular, heroin. The route being used by traffickers to smuggle opiates through South Asia is an alternative part of the southern route, which runs through Pakistan or the Islamic Republic of Iran, via the Gulf countries, continues to East Africa and on to destination countries.
  • India, Australia, France and Turkey together accounted for 83 per cent of global production of morphine-rich opiate raw materials in 2017.

United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime

United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) established in 1997  is a global leader in the fight against illicit drugs and international crime. UNDOC came into with the merger of United Nations Drug Control Programme and the Centre for International Crime Prevention.