IAF Brings 120 Indian Officials Rescued From Kabul to Delhi

The first IAF C-17 aircraft with 45 personnel returned to India on Monday.

4 min read

Two Indian Air Force transport aircraft landed at Hindan Airbase in Ghaziabad on Tuesday, 17 August, with over 120 Indian officials evacuated from Kabul in a C-17 Globemaster that had landed in Gujarat's Jamnagar earlier today, news agency ANI reported.

IAF had sent the additional C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to Jamnagar to bring passengers to Delhi.

This comes after the Taliban overthrew the Afghan government and took control of the country on Sunday, 15 August.

The staff of the Indian embassy had been brought inside the secure areas of the airport safely, late Monday evening, 16 August, sources had told news agency ANI earlier on Tuesday, 17 August.

The first IAF C-17 aircraft with 45 personnel returned to India on Monday.


Rudrendra Tandon, the Indian Ambassador, was also on the flight that left Kabul on Tuesday.

"Your welcome has had an impact on all of us. Thanks to the Indian Air Force, who flew us out under conditions that are not normal," Tandon said after landing at Jamnagar.

Air India Will Continue To Run Its Services to Kabul: Tandon

India's Ambassador in Kabul Rudrendra Tandon said, "After two weeks of intense work in a very complicated situation, the whole mission is very happy that it's finally over. We are back home safely, without any accident."

He added, "We were a very large mission with 192 personnel who were evacuated from Afghanistan within three days in a very orderly fashion in two phases", ANI reported.

Speaking on the fate of Afghans, he said "It's not that we have abandoned people of Afghanistan. Their welfare and our relationship with them is very much in our mind."

Referring to Indians who are still there in Afghanistan, Tandon asserted, "We are continuously monitoring the situation because there are still some Indian citizens out there. That is why Air India will continue to run its commercial services to Kabul as long is the airport in Kabul functions."

Coordination With UN Council

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar tweeted that they are in coordination with the UN Security Council to evacuate the 21 Indian nationals from Kabul to Paris.

He also tweeted that it was a difficult and complicated exercise to bring back the embassy staff from Kabul. "Movement of the Indian Ambassador and the Embassy staff from Kabul to India was a difficult and complicated exercise. Thank all those whose cooperation and facilitation made it possible," his tweet read.

The Ministry of External Affairs late on Tuesday released a statement explaining the current situation prevailing in Kabul and the decision was made to bring back the Indians. The statement read that the country has been issuing periodic travel and security advisories to all Indian nationals in Afghanistan. The statement also noted that there were few Indians employed in Afghanistan that are employed by other country organisations and measures are being taken to bring back the stranded Indians.

"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 statement read.


ITBP To Secure Indian Diplomatic Staff in Afghanistan Till Required

Reports on Monday said that a contingent of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has been guarding the diplomatic staff of the Indian embassy in Kabul.

The security unit of the paramilitary force is actively securing the embassy staffers, and will continue to do so till it is required, officials told news agency PTI.

The Indian consulates in Kandahar, Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, and Jalalabad were recently shut down in the wake of the crisis in Afghanistan.

A number of Indians in Afghanistan who wish to be repatriated to India are presently being kept in a secure area and will be brought to the country in a day or two, news agency ANI reported, citing sources.

External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar on Tuesday, 17 August, said that he was monitoring the situation in Kabul continuously. He indicated that he understands the anxiety of those seeking a return to India.

"Airport operations are the main challenge. Discussions on with partners in that regard," he wrote in a tweet on Tuesday.

'Monitoring Situation in Kabul': Foreign Minister Jaishankar Promises Help to Stranded Indians

Alluding to the uncertain situation in Kabul, Jaishankar noted that it was important that the Government of India was provided accurate information about the Indians there, and posted contacts for the MEA Special Afghanistan Cell for this purpose.

"We are in constant touch with the Sikh and Hindu community leaders in Kabul. Their welfare will get our priority attention," he further stated, reiterating a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs on Monday evening.

A statement released by the foreign ministry on Monday evening had stated that the Government of India will take the necessary measures to ensure the safety and security of the Indian nationals and the country's interests in Afghanistan.

Acknowledging that the security situation in Kabul has 'deteriorated significantly in the last few days,' the MEA said they are awaiting the resumption of flights to restart the repatriation process.

(With inputs from PTI and ANI)

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Topics:  Afghanistan   Kabul   ITBP 

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