Kabul: In a major development, India on Saturday granted permission to operate two flights per day from Kabul to evacuate its nationals stranded in Afghanistan, news agency ANI reported. Notably, the permission has been granted by the American and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces which have been controlling operations of the Hamid Karzai International Airport after the Afghan capital fell to the Taliban on August 15.Also Read - Breaking: 2 Dead, Over 20 Injured in Fresh Blasts In Afghanistan's Jalalabad, Confirms Taliban Official
It must be noted that a total of 25 flights are being operated by them as they, at present, focusing on evacuating their citizens, weaponry and equipment. Also Read - 2 Injured in IED Blast in Afghanistan's Kabul
More than 300 Indian nationals have to be taken out of Kabul which is now under the Taliban’s control. India is airlifting its citizens through Dushanbe in Tajikistan and Qatar. Also Read - Taliban Say Afghan Boys' Schools To Reopen, No Mention Of Girls; UNICEF Expresses Concern
As per latest reports, a flight of Air India is expected to land in India shortly with around 90 passengers. The Indian passengers were apparently taken out from Kabul in a C130J aircraft.
The first aircraft of India was allowed to operate from Kabul after National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval interacted with his US counterpart Jake Sullivan to facilitate the movement of Indian officials inside the American security zone at the airport.
The Indian Air Force has already evacuated around 180 passengers including its ambassador to Afghanistan and all other diplomats.
Earlier in the day, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar spoke to his German counterpart Heiko Maas on the latest developments in Afghanistan and challenges relating to emergency evacuation from Kabul.
“Appreciate the call from Foreign Minister @HeikoMaas of Germany. Discussed the evacuation challenges in Afghanistan and the policy implications of the changes there,” Jaishankar tweeted.
India has been in touch with the US, the UK and a number of other leading powers on the fast-evolving situation in Afghanistan after Kabul fell to the Taliban on Sunday evening.
Several countries including India have been facing difficulties in evacuating people from Kabul in view of chaos around the airport in the Afghan capital following the Taliban takeover.
By Tuesday, India had evacuated 200 people, including the Indian envoy and other staffers of its embassy in Kabul, in two C-17 heavy-lift transport aircraft of the IAF.