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India

Updated on: Monday, August 16, 2021, 01:02 PM IST

Taliban takeover: As Air India flight to Kabul stands suspended, government 'monitoring situation on ground'

Thousands throng the airport waiting for evacuation | AFP twitter feed

Thousands throng the airport waiting for evacuation | AFP twitter feed

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Amidst the ongoing turmoil in Afghanistan after Taliban takeover, the Air India rescheduled flight to Kabul stands cancelled as airport authority in Kabul suspended all flights even as thousands thronged the airport waiting for evacuation.

According to sources, Indian government officials monitoring the situation on ground in Kabul as they await more clarity on the transition government. Contingency plans are in place to evacuate Indian embassy officials in Kabul, said officials.

The Congress described conditions in Kabul as "extremely alarming" saying India's strategic interests are at stake. Speaking to media here, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, "Situation in Afghanistan is extremely alarming. India's strategic interests are at stake."

He said that the safety and security of our embassy and its personnel as also that of Indian citizens is at stake. "Congress Party stands solidly behind protecting India's interests and expects a mature political and diplomatic response from our government over the complete collapse of government in Afghanistan and Taliban takeover," he said.

Meanwhile Punjab chief minister urged the government to arrange for immediate evacuation of all Indians, including around 200 Sikhs, stuck in a Gurudwara in Afghanistan. He said that the Punjab government is willing to extend any help needed to ensure their safe evacuation.

Even Kerala Congress leader urged the government to evacuate Indians in Kabul saying that his office has been receiving distress calls from Indians in Afghanistan requesting a proactive response.

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People familiar with the development said the government has put in place contingency plans to evacuate hundreds of its officials and citizens from Kabul. The sources said government will not put the lives of its staffers at the Indian embassy and Indian citizens in Kabul at any risk and plans have already been finalised in case they require emergency evacuation.

"The government is closely monitoring the fast-paced developments in Afghanistan. We will not put the lives of our staff at the Indian embassy in Kabul at any risk," said one of the persons cited above.

Specifically asked when the Indian staffers and citizens in Kabul will be evacuated, they said decisions will depend on the ground situation.

An Air India flight carrying 129 passengers from Kabul landed at New Delhi around 8pm on Sunday.

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Published on: Monday, August 16, 2021, 01:02 PM IST
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