IAF aircraft carrying 120 Indian officials including ambassador takes off from Kabul

Source: PTI | Published on 17th August 2021, 12:19 PM | Global News |

New Delhi: The Indian ambassador to Afghanistan and around 120 of his staff members are being brought back to India on Tuesday from Kabul by a C-17 heavy-lift aircraft of the IAF as part of an emergency evacuation in view of the prevailing situation in the Afghan capital after its take over by the Taliban, people familiar with the development said.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that it was decided that the ambassador and his Indian staff will move to India immediately in view of the prevailing circumstances.

"In view of the prevailing circumstances, it has been decided that our Ambassador in Kabul and his Indian staff will move to India immediately," Bagchi tweeted.

An Indian Air Force (IAF) C-17 heavy-lift transport aircraft brought back some personnel from Afghanistan on Monday and Tuesday's flight is the second evacuation flight.

The people cited above said Indian staffers at the embassy are being brought back on board the second evacuation flight.

Hours after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled Afghanistan, the Taliban took control of Kabul on Sunday evening capturing power 20 years after a US-led military invasion ousted it in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said India is monitoring the situation in Kabul continuously.

"Monitoring the situation in Kabul continuously. Understand the anxiety of those seeking to return to India. Airport operations are the main challenge. Discussions on with partners in that regard," he tweeted earlier.

Jaishankar, who is in New York on a four-day visit, said he discussed the latest developments in Afghanistan with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

"Discussed latest developments in Afghanistan with @SecBlinken. Underlined the urgency of restoring airport operations in Kabul. Deeply appreciate the American efforts underway in this regard," he said.

"Significant UN Security Council discussions today on developments in Afghanistan. Expressed the concerns of the international community. Expect to discuss these during my engagements at the UN," the External Affairs Minister added.

In another tweet, he said the government is in constant touch with the Sikh and Hindu community leaders in Kabul, adding their welfare will get its priority attention.

"Given the Kabul situation, important we have accurate information about Indians there. Urge that this be provided by all concerned to the MEA Special Afghanistan Cell," he said.

The contact details of the Cell are: phone number: +919717785379, Email: "[email protected], Jaishankar said.

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