Nepal wants to withdraw work permits for Nepalis in Afghanistan
by Christopher Sharma

A suicide bomber blew himself up as a minibus carrying Nepali guards was on its way to the Canadian Embassy. Nepal has already banned regular work permits. Only 5,292 Nepalis working for UN agencies or diplomatic missions are left. Nepali Hindus could be the new target of Islamic terrorists.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Nepali authorities are considering banning work permits for Nepalis who want to go to Afghanistan.

Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli and his government are vetting the option following a terror attack that killed 12 Nepali security contractors travelling on a minibus in Kabul on Monday.

Nepali officials have reached the afghan capital to organise the repatriation of the victims. In the wake of the tragedy, the Nepali government has urged Nepalis in Afghanistan to come home.

On Monday, a suicide bomber blew himself as the minibus went by. The security guards were employed by a private security agency hired by the Canadian Embassy.

Two Indian nationals were also killed in the attack. Eight more people were wounded.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was an act "against the forces of aggression in Afghanistan."

“Brave Hindu Nepalis may be new targets in Kabul, since they are among the best trained guards,” said Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa. “In light of this, we might ban work permits for the Afghan capital."

Nepal has already banned regular travel to Afghanistan, except for those working for UN agencies and diplomatic missions. According to the Foreign Ministry, 5,292 Nepalis live in Afghanistan with regular work permits.

Man Bahadur Tamang lost his brother Dambar in the attack. "My brother was a Hindu and was killed,” he said. “Why did the Taliban strike at Hindu guards? We have to react to Islamic terrorism."

"All the Hindus in Nepal and abroad should pay attention to the terrorists, because they can attack at any place and at any time,” said Gautami Thapa, who lost her husband, Jitendra Thapa.

Nepali President Bidhya Devi Bhandari spoke on the phone with her Afghan counterpart. "The president not only condemned all terrorist activities, but also asked the Afghan government to take immediate measures to deal with the situation,” a presidential spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Nepal’s Labour Ministry has begun paying compensation to the victims’ families. The Foreign Ministry will pay for the repatriation of the dead and the medical expenses of the wounded.