Majority of Indians Evacuated, More Still in Afghanistan: MEA Spokesperson
In the wake of the situation of Afghans escaping their country, the MHA has announced e-emergency visas.
Apprising media on the ongoing evacuation operations from Afghanistan, spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs Arindam Bagchi on Friday, 27 August said that as per the government's overall assessment, a "vast majority of Indians who wished to return has been evacuated".
He added that the administration doesn't currently have the number of Indians who are still in the crisis-ridden region, saying that "some more are likely to be in Afghanistan".
"We were able to bring out some Afghan nationals as well as nationals from other countries. Many of them were Sikhs and Hindus. Primarily, our focus will be on Indian nationals, but we'll also stand by Afghans who stood by us," Bagchi stated while addressing news agency ANI.
In view of the Afghans who are fleeing their country, the MHA has announced e-emergency visas. Bagchi iterated, "These are six-month visas. So they are currently coming here under the six-month visa regime."
As per the MEA, the Government of India has evacuated over 550 people from Kabul and Dushanbe on six separate flights till now. Around 260 of the evacuated people are Indians.
Adding that the GoI has facilitated evacuation of Indian nationals through other agencies, Bagchi added, "we were in touch with various countries, like US and Tajikistan".
Indian Agencies on High Alert
Acknowledging the escalating security situation in the region, he said that Indian authorities are constantly monitoring the situation on ground and have been in a state of high alert due to reports of some people raiding the government's outsourcing agencies.
"Once the security situation deteriorated (in Afghanistan), there were reports of a group of people who raided one of our outsourcing agencies where Afghan passports with Indian visas were. Our authorities were in a state of high alert," he stated, ANI quoted.
Referring to the incident of the deportation of an Afghan woman MP, he added, "We were moving to the e-emergency visa system. It appears that all this could have resulted in some confusion that led to the unfortunate incident of denial of entry to a particular Afghan national."
He said further, "The last flight had 40 people. We were hearing reports that Afghan nationals were facing difficulties in reaching airport. We know some Afghan nationals, including Afghan Sikhs and Hindus, couldn't reach airport on August 25. Our flight had to come without them," ANI reported.
'No Clarity on Any Entity Forming Government'
Acknowledging reports of the Taliban forming a government, he said that India's primary concerns is the safety and security if people, adding that the situation in the war-torn region was still 'evolving' and 'uncertain'.
"Currently, there is no clarity about any entity forming a government in Kabul. I think we are jumping the gun regarding recognition," he added.
As per earlier reports, a senior commander of the Taliban had stated in an interview with Reuters that the the Afghanistan government would be transformed into a ruling council that dispenses the Sharia law.
Taliban had seized control of Afghanistan on Sunday, 15 August, following which Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the war-torn country.
(With inputs from ANI)
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