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India

Updated on: Monday, August 16, 2021, 09:54 PM IST

India will facilitate repatriation of Afghan Sikhs and Hindus as Taliban take over Afghanistan: MEA

Kabul: A Taliban fighter sits on the back of a vehicle with a machine gun in front of the main gate leading to the Afghan presidential palace, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. The U.S. military has taken over Afghanistans airspace as it struggles to manage a chaotic evacuation after the Taliban rolled into the capital.  | AP/PTI

Kabul: A Taliban fighter sits on the back of a vehicle with a machine gun in front of the main gate leading to the Afghan presidential palace, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. The U.S. military has taken over Afghanistans airspace as it struggles to manage a chaotic evacuation after the Taliban rolled into the capital. | AP/PTI

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New Delhi: India is in constant touch with the representatives of Afghan Sikh and Hindu communities, said the Ministry of External Affairs on Monday asserting that the country will facilitate repatriation to India of those who wish to leave Afghanistan.

The ministry also stated that India also stands for Afghans who have been partners in the promotion of mutual development.

Commenting on the prevailing situation in Afghanistan, the Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, "The security situation in Kabul has deteriorated significantly in the last few days. It is changing rapidly even as we speak."

He said that the government has been closely monitoring all developments in Afghanistan.

"We have been issuing periodic advisories for the safety and security of Indian nationals in that country, including calling for their immediate return to India," he said.

He also said that they had circulated emergency contact numbers and had also been extending assistance to community members. "We are aware that there are still some Indian nationals in Afghanistan who wish to return and we are in touch with them," he said.

About Afghan Sikh and Hindu communities, he said, "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."

The officer also said that there are also a number of Afghans who have been Indian partners in the promotion of mutual developmental, educational and people to people endeavours. "We will stand by them," he said.

He informed that commercial operations from Kabul airport have been suspended today. "This has forced a pause in our repatriation efforts. We are awaiting the resumption of flights to restart the process," the officer added.

The situation in Afghanistan is being monitored on a constant basis at high levels and the government will take all steps to ensure the safety and security of Indian nationals and our interests in Afghanistan, he assured.

The Taliban swept into the capital on Sunday after the Western-backed government collapsed and President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, bringing a stunning end to a two-decade campaign in which the US and its allies had tried to transform the country.

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Published on: Monday, August 16, 2021, 09:54 PM IST
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