Serial blasts spoils evacuation process of many countries including US, India
A day after the serial bomb blasts at Kabul Airport, India on Friday decided to monitor the situation, rather than rushing flights for evacuation of stranded Indians and Afghan refugees who wanted to land in Delhi, fearing the barbaric Taliban. Though in the all-party meeting, India’s Foreign Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday assured that the top priority is to evacuate all Indian citizens from strife-torn Afghanistan, after the serial blasts at Kabul Airport areas; India has decided to wait and watch the situation. Given the fluid situation there, there will be a “jumping the gun” to recognize the Taliban dispensation and its promises to World Community through their Doha office meetings, say many senior diplomats handling the situation.
Stressing these points here, India’s Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said besides Indian citizens, “we were able to bring out some Afghan nationals as well as nationals from other countries. Of these, many of them were Sikhs and Hindus. Primarily, our focus will be on Indian nationals, but we will also stand by Afghans who stood by us.” He said as per the assessment the vast majority of Indians wishing to return were evacuated, adding some more are likely to be in Afghanistan. “I do not have the exact number for that,” Bagchi said.
India has also facilitated the evacuation of Indian nationals through other agencies, the spokesperson said adding India is in touch with various countries, like the US and Tajikistan.
As regards the scenario there, he said the situation on the ground is uncertain (in Afghanistan). “Primary concern is security and safety of people,” the spokesperson said. On possible engagement with the Taliban, he said currently, there is no clarity about any entity forming a government in Kabul. “I think we are jumping the gun regarding recognition,” Bagchi said. With no clarity in Afghanistan due to turmoil, India continues to monitor the situation very carefully as this is an evolving situation, he said.
“The current focus is on the security situation of Afghanistan evacuations and seeing how it unfolds. Other countries are in the frame of wait and watch,” he said. Meanwhile, giving details of the evacuation codenamed “Operation Devi Shakti,” Bagchi said, so far, over 550 people in six separate flights, either from Kabul or Dushanbe were brought out. Of these, over 260 were Indians.
Many Diplomats say that the Hindus and Sikhs now trapped in Afghanistan are citizens of Afghanistan and the Taliban checking squad outside the Kabur Airport is preventing them from leaving the country citing their citizenship. India has also facilitated the evacuation of Indian nationals through other agencies, the spokesperson said adding India is in touch with various countries, like the US and Tajikistan.
As chaos prevailed at the Kabul international airport in the last few days, a team of Indian officials was based there to coordinate with the US for safe entry of the Indian nationals to the airport for onward journey. The US armed forces are controlling the airport. The problem is sometimes forces are outnumbered by suddenly emerging Taliban squads and ISIS-K linked barbaric forces. “This is the big problem now faced by India, US, and many other countries due to the complete chaos in Afghanistan,” they said, narrating hardships in dealing with the uncontrolled Taliban and ISIS-K barbaric squads.
Moreover, the IAF and Air India planes were based in Dushanbe in Tajikistan due to overcrowding at the Kabul airport. The NATO and US planes ferried the Indian contingents to Dushanbe to be airlifted to New Delhi in Indian aircraft. Also, all the Indian aircraft avoided Pakistani airspace and flew through the Iranian and Uzbekistan airspace for the rescue missions.
Bagchi said the last flight on Thursday had 40 odd people. He also said the government was aware of reports that Afghan nationals were facing difficulties in reaching the airport. “We know some Afghan nationals, including Afghan Sikhs and Hindus, could not reach the airport on August 25. Our flight had to come without them,” he added. The flight was supposed to airlift 185 passengers initially.
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