As a humanitarian crisis rages in Afghanistan, which fell to the Taliban within days of the United States' exit, and Indian nationals, among others, remain in the war-torn country, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar said that he was monitoring the situation in Kabul continuously. He said 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 Monday, 16 August, night.
He added that given the situation in Kabul, it is important that the Government of India has accurate information about Indians there, and posted contacts for the MEA Special Afghanistan Cell.
"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.
Later, he also tweeted that he had discussed developments in Afghanistan with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and stressed the urgency of restoring airport operations in Kabul.
WHAT DID THE MEA SAY?
The MEA on Monday evening had issued a statement, saying that the Government of India will take all steps to ensure the safety and security of the Indian nationals and its 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.
"We are in constant touch with the representatives of Afghan, Sikh and Hindu communities. We 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 development, educational and people to people endeavours. We will stand by them," the statement read.
Further, the MEA said that they have been issuing periodic advisories for the safety and security of Indian nationals in Afghanistan, 'including calling for their immediate return to India'.