As a humanitarian crisis rages in Afghanistan, which fell to the Taliban
within days of the United States’ exit, and Indian nationals, among others,
remain in the war-torn country, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar said
that he was monitoring the situation in Kabul continuously. He said that he
understands the anxiety of those seeking a return to India.
“Airport operations are the main challenge. Discussions on with partners in
that regard,” he wrote in a tweet on Monday, 16 August, night.
He added that given the situation in Kabul, it is important that the
Government of India has accurate information about Indians there, and posted
contacts for the MEA Special Afghanistan Cell.
“We are in constant touch with the Sikh and Hindu community leaders in Kabul.
Their welfare will get our priority attention,” he further stated, reiterating
a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs on Monday evening.
Later, he also tweeted that he had discussed developments in Afghanistan with
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and stressed the urgency of restoring
airport operations in Kabul.
What Did The MEA Say?
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.
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) August 16, 2021
The MEA on Monday evening had issued a statement, saying that the Government
of India will take all steps to ensure the safety and security of the Indian
nationals and its interests in Afghanistan.
Acknowledging that the security situation in Kabul has ‘deteriorated
significantly in the last few days,’ the MEA said they are awaiting the
resumption of flights to restart the repatriation process.
“We are in constant touch with the representatives of Afghan, Sikh and Hindu
communities. We will facilitate repatriation to India of those who wish to
leave Afghanistan. There are also a number of Afghans who have been our
partners in the promotion of our mutual development, educational and people to
people endeavours. We will stand by them,” the statement read.
Further, the MEA said that they have been issuing periodic advisories for the
safety and security of Indian nationals in Afghanistan, ‘including calling for
their immediate return to India’.