Chairing a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on the crisis in Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban takeover, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told officials to ensure safe evacuation of all Indian nationals, provide refuge to Sikh and Hindu minorities wanting to come to India and provide all possible help to Afghanistan citizens looking for assistance from India.
Among those part of the meeting were Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and Ambassador Rudrendra Tandon were also part of the CCS meeting.
"India must not only protect our citizens, but we must also provide refuge to Sikh and Hindu minorities who want to come to India and we must also provide all possible help to our Afghan brothers and sisters who are looking towards India for assistance," PM Modi was quoted as saying by a senior official, reported news agency ANI.
India's Stance on the Kabul Situation
Meanwhile, official sources told The Indian Express that “India won’t be first or the last country in recognising the new framework” in Afghanistan.
At the moment, India is waiting and watching the rapidly changing situation and will wait for a formal government structure to materialise in Kabul. They added that as of now, details such as who to contact in the Taliban are unclear.
In deciding how to proceed next, Delhi will be in touch with Western democracies, sources further said.
One of the issues at hand is internal power-sharing in Kabul, while another is Pakistan and China's influence on the Taliban, which will also have a larger effect on the immediate neighbourhood.
According to sources, Pakistan would want a "weak Taliban" while China will be pushing to strengthen the Islamist group. Another concern for India is that the return of the Taliban could lead to higher militancy in the region, although the situation in the Kashmir Valley in currently under control, reported The Indian Express.
Chaos in Afghanistan
The CCS was briefed in detail on the current and evolving security and political situation in Afghanistan, as well as on the recent evacuations of Indian Embassy officials, some members of the Indian community and members of the Indian media, government sources cited by ANI said.
The Taliban took control of Afghanistan on Sunday as President Ashraf Ghani fled the country and conceded that the insurgents had won the 20-year war.
Following the withdrawal of a majority of US troops on 1 May, Taliban advanced rapidly in the country, capturing city after city.
Earlier on Tuesday, Indian officials evacuated from Kabul had landed in Gujarat's Jamnagar. The first IAF C-17 aircraft with 45 personnel had returned to India on Monday.
(With inputs from ANI.)