New Delhi: India evacuated its embassy in Kabul this morning amid escalating humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. A special Air Force flight brought back the envoy, along with other staff members and ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) troops. The evacuation operation has faced multiple challenges in the last 48 hours as Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan after 20 years on Sunday.
“In view of the prevailing circumstances, it has been decided that our ambassador in Kabul and his Indian staff will move to India immediately (sic),” Arindam Bagchi, Spokesperson, Ministry Of External Affairs, had tweeted this morning. More than 120 Indian officials were flown out.
ndia has been facing numerous hurdles in its attempts to bring people back home safely with the security situation deteriorating sharply. Two aircraft were deployed for the evacuation of the embassy staff on Sunday. The first IAF C-17 aircraft with 45 personnel returned on Monday. However, with roads and airport operations shutting down on, and chaos unfolding at Kabul airport, the Indian Ambassador in Kabul, other staff members, and ITBP troops could not be brought back earlier.
The Indian embassy was reportedly also under observation by the Taliban.The Taliban also raided the Shahir Visa Agency, which processes visas for Afghans looking to travel to India, sources said.
Some Indian staff members were reportedly stopped when they were on their way to the airport. Kabul Airport, now controlled by the United States, resumed its operations this morning after a day-long mayhem when thousands were seen on tarmac, desperate to escape the Taliban rule.
In a late-night tweet, Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar said he “discussed” latest developments in Afghanistan with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and “underlined the urgency of restoring airport operations in Kabul”. The overnight talks may have helped the evacuation.India has also announced a new category of electronic visa – “e-Emergency X-Misc Visa” – to fast-track applications from Afghans who wish to leave the Taliban-controlled country.Bagchi also shared the helpline number — 919717785379– as well as the email address to coordinate repatriation.
Afghanistan is witnessing its worst political crisis in two decades with Taliban’s return to power, months after the US withdrawal of troops from the South Asian country. Tragic scenes from Kabul Airport on Monday this week captured the plight of locals as wells as foreigners stuck in the country. A video that has caught global attention shows three persons falling to death from a plane as they try to escape.