India responds on Taliban conquering Afghanistan; commits to repatriating Indians, friends
The Government of India, on Tuesday, issued its first response on the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban laid siege at Kabul, forcing the fall of the elected Ashraf Ghani-led government.
In response to media queries regarding the situation in the war-ravaged neighboring country, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, the Government of India is closely monitoring all developments in Afghanistan.
"The security situation in Kabul has deteriorated significantly in the last few days. It is changing rapidly even as we speak. We have been issuing periodic advisories for the safety and security of Indian nationals in that country, including calling for their immediate return to India," Bagchi said in a statement.
In order to arrange repatriation of Indian citizens trapped in Afghanistan, the External Affairs Ministry had circulated emergency contact numbers and also extended assistance to community members, he said. "We are aware that there are still some Indian nationals in Afghanistan who wish to return and we are in touch with them."
The official also informed that the Government is in constant touch with the representatives of Afghan Sikh and Hindu communities and 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 developmental, educational and people-to-people endeavors. We will stand by them," assured Bagchi.
The MEA official further noted that commercial operations from Kabul airport have been suspended amid massive chaos and reports of gunfire as thousands attempt to flee the country. "This has forced a pause in our repatriation efforts. We are awaiting the resumption of flights to restart the process," he added.
Bagchi said the situation in Afghanistan is being monitored on a constant basis at 'high levels' and assured that the Government will take all steps to ensure the safety of Indian nationals and their interests in Afghanistan.
Chaos at Kabul airport as Taliban gains control
On Monday morning, thousands of Kabul residents were seen gathered at Hamid Karzai International Aiport in an attempt to flee from Afghanistan after the Taliban's siege. The Taliban has taken over the entire country of Afghanistan following the withdrawal of the US troops.
The Afghan airspace has been closed, with all commercial flights being suspended, and most countries and carriers are currently avoiding the airspace. While the Taliban has taken over Kabul, 6000-strong US military is currently taken control of the airport's perimeter overseeing evacuation.
The triumphant Taliban has firmly taken hold of the capital, as thousands of noncombatants swarmed the city's airport in a desperate attempt to escape the extremists' hardline brand of rule. President Ashraf Ghani has also fled the country and has abandoned the top post.
Amid this, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) which is presided over by India has convened an emergency assemblage to discuss the worsening situation in the war-ravaged country.