New Delhi [India]: The government is committed to the safe return of all Indian nationals from Afghanistan and will institute flight arrangements once Kabul airport is open for commercial operations, MEA said on Tuesday.
The Ministry of External Affairs said in a release that the main challenge for travel to and from Afghanistan is the operational status of Kabul airport and this has been discussed at high levels with India’s partners, including by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar with the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. The release said in view of the prevailing situation in Kabul, it was decided that Indian Embassy personnel would be immediately moved to India.
It noted that a number of Indians are stranded in that country, some of whom are employed by third country organizations.
“This movement has been completed in two phases and the Ambassador and all other India-based personnel have reached New Delhi this afternoon,” it said.
“Nevertheless, we understand that a number of Indians are stranded in that country, some of whom are employed by third country organizations. Our immediate priority is to obtain accurate information about all Indian nationals currently in Afghanistan. They and or their employers are requested to urgently share the relevant details with MEA’s Special Afghanistan Cell,” it added.
The MEA said it has already received requests from Afghan Sikh and Hindu community leaders, and are in touch with them.
“As regards Afghan nationals, our visa services will continue through an e-Emergency visa facility, which has been extended to Afghan nationals. This can be accessed through our e-visa portal,” the release said.
The MEA said the government has been issuing periodic travel and security advisories for all Indian nationals in Afghanistan, given the deteriorating security situation there.
Those already in Afghanistan were urged to return immediately while others were advised not to travel there, it said.
“The main challenge for travel to and from Afghanistan is the operational status of Kabul airport. This has been discussed at high levels with our partners, including by EAM with the US Secretary of State. Government of India is committed to the safe return of all Indian nationals and will institute flight arrangements once Kabul airport is open for commercial operations,” the release said.
Taliban had entered Kabul on Sunday and took over the presidential palace.