In quick succession, India issued a couple of advisories to her mission staff and other citizens in Afghanistan to come back safely, first for people and staff in Mazar-e-Sharif & only a few hours later, from entire Afghanistan, apprehending discontinuation of civilian air connectivity.
“A special flight is leaving from Mazar-e-Sharif to New Delhi. Any Indian nationals in and around Mazar-e-Sharif are requested to leave for India in the special flight scheduled to depart late today evening,” the Consulate General of India in Mazar-e-Sharif said in a tweet.
The Consulate General has asked the Indian nationals willing to leave by a special flight to India should immediately convey their details on numbers provided by the Consulate.
The development came after the fighters of the Pakistan-sponsored Islamic radical outfit- the Taliban, rapidly seizing control of the key areas of the war-torn country.
Following the US withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, after a two-decades-long stay in the country, the Afghan National Army is struggling to fend its territory. Taliban has been making rapid advances across Afghanistan with few main provinces of Afghanistan falling already under the Taliban’s control.
Taliban is reported to have seized six provincial capitals in Afghanistan in the north, west, and south recently. Aybak, the capital of Samangan is the sixth provincial capital to fall under the Taliban’s control in the last few days.
Indian Government had evacuated around 50 diplomats and officials from the Indian Consulate in Kandhar earlier in July, following the intense fighting between Taliban fighters and the Afghan Army near Kandhar city.
Earlier in April 2020 citing the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic, India had closed its two mission in Jalalabad and Herat.
Security Advisory issued for Indian Nationals in Afghanistan
The advisory asked all the Indian nationals visiting, staying, or working in Afghanistan to make immediate travel arrangements to return to India before commercial air services are discontinued.
“Further, as violence in many parts of Afghanistan has escalated, commercial air travel services to many provinces and cities are getting discontinued. All Indian nationals visiting, staying, and working in Afghanistan are strongly advised to keep themselves updated on the availability of commercial flights from various parts of Afghanistan and make immediate travel arrangements to return to India before commercial air services are discontinued to their place of stay/visit in Afghanistan,” advisory states.
India will continue to stand with Afghanistan: India at UNSC
During the UNSC briefing on Afghanistan on August 6, India’s Permanent Ambassador to UN T.S.Tirumurti reiterated India’s support for an inclusive, Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-controlled peace process.
Addressing the briefing, the Indian Ambassador to UN, T.S.Tirumurti said that for ensuring peace in Afghanistan immediate actions should be taken for uprooting terrorist safe-hideouts.
“For enduring peace in Afghanistan, terrorist safe havens and sanctuaries in the region must be dismantled immediately and terrorist supply chains disrupted. It needs to be ensured that Afghanistan’s neighbours and the region are not threatened by terrorism, separatism, and extremism. There needs to be zero tolerance for terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” Ambassador Tirumurti said.