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Amid Rising Taliban Presence, India Evacuates 50 Officials Posted At Kandahar Consulate

India has temporarily shut its consulate in Kandahar

Amid Rising Taliban Presence, India Evacuates 50 Officials Posted At Kandahar Consulate
Afghan militiamen join Afghan defense and security forces during a gathering in Kabul as Taliban gains ground in Afghanistan | AP/PTI Photo
Amid Rising Taliban Presence, India Evacuates 50 Officials Posted At Kandahar Consulate
outlookindia.com
2021-07-11T10:29:17+05:30

With Taliban rapidly gaining ground in Afghanistan, India has pulled out about 50 diplomats and security personnel from its consulate in Kandahar, people familiar with the development told PTI on Sunday.

This development comes in the backdrop of Taliban steadily capturing new areas in southern Afghanistan amid NATO and the US withdrawing their troops from the country.

India has temporarily shut its consulate in Kandahar and according to those familiar with the developments, Delhi sent a special IAF aircraft to Afghanistan on Saturday to bring back about 50 Indian diplomats, officials and other staff members posted at the consulate there. India will also be evacuating a group of Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel, they said.

Two days back, the Ministry of External said India was carefully monitoring the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and its implications on the safety and security of Indian nationals.

"Our response will be calibrated accordingly," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at a media briefing on Thursday.

Afghanistan witnessed a series of terror attacks in the last few weeks as the US looked to complete the withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan by August-end, ending a nearly two-decade of its military presence in the war-ravaged country.

There were reports that at least two foreign missions in Mazar-e-Sharif, the capital of northern Balkh province, have closed their operation in view of escalating violence in the region.

Amid growing concerns in India over the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, Afghan Ambassador Farid Mamundzay on Tuesday briefed Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on the situation in Afghanistan.

The Indian embassy last week asked all Indians visiting, staying and working in Afghanistan to exercise the utmost caution with regard to their security and avoid all types of non-essential travel in view of rising incidents of violence in various parts of the country.

In an advisory, the embassy said the security situation in Afghanistan remains "dangerous" and that terror groups have carried out a series of complex attacks including targeting civilians, adding Indian nationals additionally face a "serious threat" of kidnapping.

India has been a major stakeholder in the peace and stability of Afghanistan. It has already invested nearly USD three billion in aid and reconstruction activities in the country.

India has been supporting a national peace and reconciliation process which is Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled.

In March, Afghan Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar visited India during which Jaishankar conveyed to him India's long-term commitment towards a peaceful, sovereign and stable Afghanistan.

(With PTI inputs)

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