New Delhi: An Indian Air Force C-17 aircraft that had taken off from Kabul early Tuesday morning with more than 120 Indian officials in it amid chaos in Afghanistan after the Taliban took over the country has safely landed at Jamnagar in Gujarat. The IAF aircraft had airlifted the Indian ambassador and other personnel as part of the emergency evacuation in view of the prevailing situation in the Afghan capital following its take over by the Taliban, people familiar with the development said. The staff was brought inside the secure areas of the airport safely, late Monday evening, said sources.Also Read - Taliban Seeks UN Participation, Nominates Spokesman Suhail Shaheen as Afghan Envoy
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Meanwhile, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said it was decided that the ambassador in Kabul and his Indian staff will move to India immediately in view of the prevailing circumstances. “In view of the prevailing circumstances, it has been decided that our Ambassador in Kabul and his Indian staff will move to India immediately,” Bagchi tweeted.
Earlier on Monday, Bagchi said that the situation in Afghanistan is being monitored on a constant basis at high levels and that suspension of commercial operations at Kabul airport had briefly paused India’s repatriation efforts. “The security situation in Kabul has deteriorated significantly in the last few days. It is changing rapidly even as we speak. The Government of India has been closely monitoring all developments in Afghanistan,” he said.
The Ministry of External Affairs has also set up an ‘Afghanistan Cell’ to coordinate repatriation and related matters in the backdrop of the Taliban seizing control of the country. The announcement of the Cell was made by Bagchi on Monday night hours after he said that India will facilitate the repatriation of Sikhs and Hindus who wish to leave the war-torn country.
“#MEA has set up a Special Afghanistan Cell to coordinate repatriation and other requests from Afghanistan,” Bagchi said on Twitter. He also put out the contact details to reach out to the Cell — Phone number: +919717785379, Email: MEAHelpdeskIndia@gmail.com.
“We are in constant touch with the representatives of Afghan Sikh and Hindu communities. We will facilitate repatriation to India of those who wishes to leave Afghanistan. There are also a number of Afghans who have been our partners in the promotion of our mutual developmental, educational and people-to-people endeavours. We will stand by them,” he said.