India evacuates diplomats, citizens from Afghanistan after Taliban takeover

New Delhi: India on Tuesday safely evacuated over 150 citizens, including diplomats from Afghanistan amid chaos following Taliban takeover.

Sources said Indian Air Force’s transport aircraft C-17 with 150 passengers has left the Kabul airport for India.

The aircraft C-17 Globemaster which took off at 7 a.m. this morning, will first land at Jamnagar airbase, the source said.

The evacuees include Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Ronendra Tandon, embassy’s staff, their family members and the journalists, who went to cover the war.

On Sunday, the C-17 Globemaster aircraft had evacuated around 180 Indians.

Commenting on the prevailing situation in Afghanistan, the Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi on Monday had said, “The security situation in Kabul has deteriorated significantly in the last few days. It is changing rapidly even as we speak.”

He said that the government has been closely monitoring all developments in Afghanistan.

“We have been issuing periodic advisories for the safety and security of the Indian nationals in that country, including calling for their immediate return to India,” he said.

He also said that they had circulated emergency contact numbers and had also been extending assistance to the community members. “We are aware that there are still some Indian nationals in Afghanistan who wish to return and we are in touch with them,” he said.

About the Afghan Sikh and Hindu communities, he said, “We are in constant touch with the representatives of the Afghan Sikh and Hindu communities. We will facilitate repatriation to India of those who wish to leave Afghanistan.”

The officer also said that there are also a number of Afghans who have been Indian partners in the promotion of mutual developmental, educational and people to people endeavours. “We will stand by them,” he said.

He had also informed that commercial operations from Kabul airport have been suspended. “This has forced a pause in our repatriation efforts. We are awaiting the resumption of flights to restart the process,” the officer had said.

The situation in Afghanistan is being monitored on a constant basis at high levels and the government will take all steps to ensure the safety and security of the Indian nationals and our interests in Afghanistan, he had assured.

The Taliban swept into Kabul after the Western-backed government collapsed and President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, bringing a stunning end to a two-decade campaign in which the US and its allies had tried to transform the country.


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