New Delhi: After Indian Air Force (IAF) C-17 aircraft carrying 120 Indian officials from Afghanistan landed in Gujarat’s Jamnagar, the Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan, Rudrendra Tandon thanked IAF for flying them out of Afghanistan in such a crisis situation.
“Thank you to the Indian Air Force who flew us out under conditions that are not normal,” said Tandon after landing at Jamnagar.
He also appreciated the rescue efforts saying ‘how great it is to be tactful’.
“After 2 weeks of intense work, very complicated situation, the whole mission is very happy that its finally over. We are back home safely, without any accidents. We were a very large mission with 192 personnel that were evacuated from Afghanistan literally within a period of three days in a very orderly fashion in two phases,” added Tandon.
Regarding the evacuation and fate of Afghans, he said the situation is complex because Republic of Afghanistan no longer exists.
“It’s not that we have abandoned people of Afghanistan, their welfare and our relationship with them is very much in our mind. We will try and continue our interaction with them, I can’t exactly say in what form as situation is changing,” said Tandon.
He also informed that Air India will continue to run its commercial services to Kabul as long as the airport in Kabul functions.
“We are continuously monitoring the situation because there are still some Indian citizens who are there. That is why Air India will continue to run its commercial services to Kabul as long as the airport in Kabul functions,” said Tandon.
Answering to media on numbers of Indians stranded in Afghanistan and plans to evacuate Indian citizens, Tandon said, “Temporarily Air India had to suspend its commercial services because of the conditions in the airport. However, we continue to ensure that anyone who is stuck there is somehow brought here for which the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has opened a help desk that is operating already,” said Tandon.
“I know personally at least five to six (Indians stranded in Afghanistan), but there are figures sometimes quoted to us that could be 40-50, but that is not something I will stand by officially as we do not have the register,” informed Tandon.
He also said those who still continue to work in Kabul city, despite the changing situation and have changed their mind subsequently will be brought back when the commercial services begin.
He also advised Indian nationals to register themselves with the Indian Embassy.
“The number of Indian nationals unfortunately do not register themselves. We keep sending out advisories, especially in countries like Afghanistan where political situation can change. It is important that Indian citizens register themselves with the Indian Embassy so that in times like this we can extract them,” said the Indian envoy.