Taliban stop Afghan Sikhs and Hindus from leaving Afghanistan
Days after ransacking two Indian consulates at Kandahar and Herat, the Taliban on Saturday detained 150 Indian citizens about to return home. They were questioned near the Kabul airport and later allowed to enter the airport. However, 60 to 70 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus were not allowed to travel to India, reports from there said. On not allowing the Afghan Sikhs and Hindus, it was learned the Taliban asked this group to go back as they were waiting outside the international airport there for many hours. The Taliban fighters prevented their entry into the airport by checking their passport and told them since they are Afghan citizens they have to go back.
Meanwhile, a batch of 80 Indians is about to reach New Delhi from Kabul in an IAF C-130J transport aircraft. A plane will go to Kabul to evacuate the group of 150 Indians now waiting at the airport there, Indian diplomats said on Saturday. This group including two minority members of Afghanistan parliament was supposed to be brought out by an IAF aircraft now heading flying home with 80-odd Indian citizens.
A few days ago Taliban ransacked two Indian consulates at Kandahar and Herat and took away the parked vehicles from the compound.
The aircraft landed at Dushanbe in Tajikistan after evacuating the Indians, they said, adding the flight is expected to arrive at the Hindon airbase near Delhi. The IAF planes are circumventing Pakistani airspace to go to Kabul, they added. Reacting to reports of 150 Indians detained by the Taliban, Indian officials said all Indians in Kabul are safe and that “authorities are in touch with them”.
“They were offered lunch and have now left for the Kabul airport,” officials said. A team of Indian officials was already in Kabul to help facilitate the safe return of Indian citizens stranded outside the airport, they added.
India has already evacuated 200 people, including the Indian envoy and other staffers of its embassy in Kabul, in two C-17 heavy-lift transport aircraft of the IAF after the Taliban seized control of Kabul on Sunday. The first evacuation flight brought back over 40 Indians on Monday. The second C-17 aircraft evacuated around 150 people including Indian diplomats, officials, security personnel, four journalists, and some stranded Indians on Tuesday.
Since the Kabul international airport is controlled by the US forces, high-level talks between the leaders of the two countries ensured safe passage for the Indian diplomatic corps besides safe landing and take-off of the Indian C-17, they said. Following the evacuation, the Ministry of external affairs said the focus now would be to ensure the safe return of all Indian nationals from the Afghan capital. There are many Indians working with private companies and contractors engaged in the development works in India. Many NGO staffers from India are also in Afghanistan. “The immediate priority for the Government of India is to obtain accurate information about all Indian nationals currently staying in Afghanistan. The External Affairs Ministry also urged the Indians as well as their employers to urgently share the relevant details with the special Afghanistan cell,” said a diplomat engaged in evacuation.
While one estimate puts the figure of Indians working there at 1,000 to 1,500, another estimate indicates about 400 Indians are stranded there and wanting to come out. A few days ago Taliban ransacked two Indian consulates at Kandahar and Herat and took away the parked vehicles from the compound.
 Barbaric Taliban ransack Indian Consulates in Kandahar and Herat. Took away parked cars from the Consulates – Aug 21, 2021, PGurus.com
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