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Working With Global Partners To Bring Stranded Indians From Afghanistan: S Jaishankar

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S Jaishankar was addressing reporters at the UN Security Council on Thursday

United Nations: India is working with international partners, principally the US, in bringing stranded Indian nationals back home from strife-torn Afghanistan, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Thursday.

Mr Jaishankar said this while addressing reporters at the UN Security Council stake-out after chairing the Security Council briefing on the ”Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts”, held under India’s current Presidency of the Council.

In response to a question, he said on the issue of “where we go on from now” with the Taliban in control in Afghanistan, he said: “the immediate issue that we are looking at is really the repatriation of our nationals. In India’s case, India’s nationals, other countries have their concerns”.

“We are working with international partners in this regard, principally the US, because they control the airport,” Mr Jaishankar said, adding that he had thanked the French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian because France took back some Indians to Paris from Afghanistan.

“So, I think that was the right thing to do. But in terms of the longer perspective, we have a historical relationship with the Afghan people and I think that relationship will continue to guide our thoughts,” he said.

In response to a question by PTI on the situation in Afghanistan and that Pakistan-based terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed can take advantage of the situation to increase cross-border terrorism, he said India has unfortunately had a long experience with cross-border terrorism.

“I think I made it very clear that we have had unfortunately a long experience with cross border terrorism. We are not the only country which has had it, there are other countries. I mentioned Afghanistan,” Mr Jaishankar said.

“I specifically, in fact, mentioned some of the groups that you did – Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba. I think this is a continuing issue and we made the point very strongly that it’s important therefore that there are no double standards, that there are no distinctions’ in the fight against terrorism, he added.

India on Tuesday rushed back home its ambassador Rudrendra Tandon and staff from the embassy in Kabul in a military transport aircraft following escalating tension, fear and uncertainty gripping the Afghan capital after the Taliban terrorists seized the Afghan capital on Sunday.

The C-17 Globemaster aircraft of the Indian Air Force carrying around 150 people, including diplomats, officials, security personnel and some stranded Indians, landed at the Hindon airbase near the national capital at around 5 PM after a brief halt at Jamnagar in Gujarat, in the wake of escalating tension, fear and uncertainty gripping the Afghan capital after its take over by the Taliban two days back.

It was the second evacuation flight as another C-17 aircraft brought back around 40 people from the Hamid Karzai International (HKI) Airport in Kabul on Monday as part of India’s emergency evacuation mission that was carried out following coordination with relevant authorities including US officials handling security at the airport in the Afghan capital.

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