India safely evacuates diplomats, citizens from Afghanistan

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IAF’s transport aircraft C-17 with 150 passengers including Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Ronendra Tandon, embassy’s staff, their family members and the journalists brought back to India, reports Asian Lite News

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.

Afghans in India hold Ghani responsible for crisis

Afghanistan citizens living as refugees in Delhi blamed their president Ashraf Ghani for the present situation in their country. They said though the situation there was not favourable to live in but the seven-year rule of Ghani has made it worse for the people.

Afghan citizens said that Ghani has ‘in fact sold Afghanistan to the Taliban’ and fled the country leaving the citizens to their own fate. They said that the Afghan soldiers wanted to fight the Taliban, but Ghani always discouraged them.

The Taliban have captured the whole of Afghanistan after targeting one province after another and the government allowed them (Taliban), asking the soldiers to maintain calm and peace instead of fighting against them, they said.

“Our soldiers are not weak, and they had enough guns and other equipment and each soldier wanted to die fighting for the country, but this government did not allow them to fight. Now, it is proved that Ghani sold the country to the Pakistan supported Taliban and fled,” said Basit Fallah, a citizen of Afghanistan who has been living in India for the last two years.

He said since Ghani became the president, he gave a free hand to the Taliban to enter the Afghan provinces. “It has come all of a sudden, but it was a planned conspiracy. When the Talibanis used to attack the Afghans our president would say maintain peace. He would say we need to have friendly relations with them. Why? Because our president plotted to sell the country and he did it finally,” Fallah added.

Nadeem, another Afghan citizen, said leaders of half a dozen provinces, including Mazar-e-Sharif and Herat were always against the views of President Ghani, and they wanted to fight the Taliban but the top leadership did not support them.

The Taliban entered Afghanistan’s capital city Kabul on Sunday, completing the takeover which began at a stunning pace in the wake of the withdrawal of US and NATO forces.

“India had given MI-35 helicopters to the Afghanistan government, but the Ghani government handed them to the Taliban within two weeks. Ashraf Ghani did not flee from Afghanistan because he was worried about the Taliban. He ran away because he knew that the people of Afghanistan would punish him for what he has done,” Nadeem added.

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