As Taliban advances, India evacuates consulate staff and diplomats from Afghanistantext_fields
As the Taliban seized control of more key regions in Afghanistan, India evacuated around 50 diplomats and other staff members from the consulate anticipating "intense fighting near Kandahar city".
The foreign ministry of India said that the government is closely monitoring the evolving security situation in Afghanistan. "The safety and security of our personnel are paramount," read the statement. The Indian consulate in Afghanistan will continue to function through local staff members.
Since US President Joe Biden announced that American troops will be pulled out of Afghanistan after a two-decade-long military operation, the Taliban has been trying to gain control over the nation. Last week, US officials announced that 90% of the military troops are already withdrawn from Afghanistan and the rest of them will be out by August 31.
Afghanistan has been witnessing a series of terror attacks in the last few weeks.
Indian personnel were flown to Delhi from Kandahar yesterday evening by special Air Force Plane, reported NDTV. Sources said that the planes avoided Pakistan air space.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that the Consulate General of India in Kandahar has not been closed. The India-based personnel have been brought back for time being due to intense fighting near the city. He added that it is a temporary measure until the situation stabilises.
Afghan Ambassador Farid Mamundzay briefed India's Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on the ground situation on Tuesday. The Indian embassy in Kabul said that all Indians in Afghanistan should be cautious. The message pertained to anyone visiting, staying, and working in the country. Indians are also advised to avoid non-essential travel.
India has been supporting the peace and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan.
The Indian embassy said that the security situation in Afghanistan is dangerous, and Indian nationals face a serious threat of kidnapping. The terror groups have carried out a series of attacks targeting civilians, said the NDTV report.
The embassy said that they have no plans to shut down. The consulates in Herat and Jalalabad were closed in April 2020 amid the pandemic.