The all-party meet on Afghanistan lasted 3 and half hours. 37 leaders from 31 parties attended it. The EAM took questions from MPs and a presentation was given on the priorities and the challenges
New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar on Thursday (August 26) said that India will approach the situation in Afghanistan in the spirit of national unity. His remarks came after the all-party meeting in which the MEA briefed floor leaders.
The all-party meet on Afghanistan lasted 3 and half hours. 37 leaders from 31 parties attended it. The EAM took questions from MPs and a presentation was given on the priorities and the challenges.
“On this matter, we all have a similar view and we have a strong national position on Afghanistan,” EAM said, adding we approach the situation “very much in the spirit of national unity”.
India has been evacuating its nationals and a number of Afghans from the country under operation Devi Shakti. So far, India has evacuated 565 people, of which 175 are embassy personnel, 263 are other Indian nationals, 112 are Afghan nationals including Hindus and Sikhs and 15 are citizens of other countries.
The EAM said, “India has brought back most of the Indians. There are still few out there, some of them could not make it to the flight yesterday, but we will bring out everybody.”
For repatriation, India on August 16 formed the Afghan special cell. So far it has handled 3014 calls, 7826 WhatsApp messages and 3101 emails. The cell is manned by more than 20 MEA officials.
Sources said, during the all-party meet, EAM listed pre-emptive measures like temporary withdrawal of India-based personnel from Indian consulates in Herat and Jalalabad (April 2020), scaling down of Indian Embassy in Kabul (June 2021), evacuation from Kandahar, Mazar-e-Sharif and issued security advisories from time to time.
He highlighted that the “government is very strongly committed to ensure full evacuation as soon as possible. In terms of any international decisions that are made, our diplomacy, our role and interest are recognised. We are in touch with our partners.”
In the meet, EAM pointed out challenges during evacuation which included frequent firing incidents near the airport and inside Kabul, multiple checkpoints by various groups, landing permissions delays, flight clearances from relevant countries.