Afghanistan crisis: Prime Minister Modi’s presidents meet as India evacuates embassy staff


Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security on Tuesday in the context of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. The Cabinet Committee on Security is the supreme government body dealing with national security matters.

Interior Minister Amit Shah, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attended the meeting, in addition to senior officials. Although official sources confirmed the meeting, there was no word on what happened there.

Sources said those at the meeting also included National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Minister Harsh Vardhan Shringla, as well as Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Rudrendra Tandon, who returned to India. Tuesday same.

India on Tuesday repatriated its ambassador and embassy staff to Kabul aboard a military transport plane following escalating tension, fear and uncertainty in the Afghan capital. The Indian Air Force C-17 Globemaster plane carrying around 150 people, including diplomats, officials, security personnel and stranded Indians, landed at Hindon Air Base near the national capital around 5 pm after a brief stopover in Jamnagar in Gujarat.

This is the second evacuation flight as another C-17 plane returned around 40 people from Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport on Monday as part of India’s emergency evacuation mission which was carried out after coordination with the relevant authorities, including US officials responsible for security at the airport in the Afghan capital.

This is the second time that India has evacuated all its staff from the embassy in Kabul after a similar exercise carried out in 1996 when the Taliban first seized power.

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Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Rudrendra Tandon told media in Jamnagar that the situation in Kabul is now complex and “fairly fluid”, and that the Indians remaining stuck in the city will be brought home when commercial flight services resume. .

“Glad to be back home safe and sound. We are a very big mission. We are a mission of 192 people who were evacuated from Afghanistan literally within three days in a very orderly two-phased fashion.” , did he declare.

Tandon, who took over as Indian ambassador to Afghanistan in August last year, said the embassy provided assistance and even shelter to many Indians in distress as a result of the rapid development of the situation in Kabul.

“We are constantly monitoring the situation as there are still Indian citizens who are there. That is why Air India will continue to operate its commercial services to Kabul as long as the Kabul airport is operating,” Tandon said.

Tandon said India will keep in touch with the Afghan people and continue to work for their well-being.

Asked about the stranded Indians, he said the embassy had helped many of them. Those who returned to the plane included two Delhi-based journalists who had traveled to Afghanistan to cover ongoing developments after the Taliban began capturing major provincial capitals.

“The evacuation was a complicated exercise”

The evacuation of staff from the Indian embassy in Kabul was a “difficult and complicated” exercise, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said on Tuesday.

While Jaishankar held talks with his US counterpart Antony Blinken, NSA Ajit Doval spoke with President Joe Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Monday evening about the evacuation of Indian personnel, reports said. people familiar with the matter.

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In a tweet, Jaishankar, who is in New York for a four-day visit, said he thanked his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian for evacuating 21 Indian nationals from Kabul to Paris. It is learned that Jaishankar and Doval both participated in the evacuation of around 190 Indian diplomats, officials and security personnel from the embassy in Kabul.

Emergency electronic visa for Afghans

India announced on Tuesday that it would issue an emergency electronic visa to Afghan nationals wishing to come to the country given the situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban took power. All Afghans, regardless of their religion, can apply for the “e-Emergency X-Misc Visa” online and the applications will be processed in New Delhi.

“MHA is reviewing visa arrangements in light of the current situation in Afghanistan. A new category of electronic visa called ‘e-Emergency X-Misc Visa’ has been introduced to speed up visa applications to enter India, “said a spokesperson for the Interior Ministry.

The visa will initially be valid for six months, they said.


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