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Afghan situation is of 'concern', India in touch with Sikhs and Hindus in the war-hit country

WebdeskAug 13, 2021, 08:03 AM IST

Afghan situation is of 'concern', India in touch with Sikhs and Hindus in the war-hit country

                                                                                                                                                                          Nirendra Dev

 
Last year, Mr Bagchi said, the Indian government and the Kabul mission had facilitated the return of 383 Hindu and Sikh communities in Afghanistan.
  
New Delhi: India evacuated several citizens from Afghanistan on Wednesday (August 11) morning from Mazar-e-Sharif because of the tense situation there, but New Delhi continues to hope that there will be a "comprehensive ceasefire" at the earliest.

 

"On the security situation look, it is of concern. It is a rapidly evolving situation. We continue to hope there will be an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire. We are supporting all peace initiatives in Afghanistan," MEA spokesman Arindam Bagchi told reporters here on Thursday (August 12).

 

He said India is closely monitoring the situation and pointed out that the Indian mission in Kabul has already issued an advisory for Indian nationals earlier this week.

 

They have been advised to return to India by 'commercial flights,' he said.

 

Last year, Mr Bagchi said, the Indian government and the Kabul mission had facilitated the return of 383 Hindu and Sikh communities in Afghanistan.

 

 
"Our mission in Kabul continues to remain in touch with Afghan Hindu and Sikh community members and we will ensure provision of all necessary assistance to them," Bagchi said. He declined to comment on any timeline speculation on the situation there but said there were various reports from different quarters. "
 

 

 
"Our primary concern is peace and stability in that country," he said.

 

Sources say there is no plan to evacuate the remaining Indians through a government-sponsored initiative.

 

The MEA spokesman said “external malign influences” should be stopped from taking over the country.

 

He said reports of India considering shutting down the Embassy in Kabul were incorrect.

 

Taliban fighters have taken over at least ten provincial capitals in a week.

 

 
“On a viral video of Taliban fighters inspecting a Mi-35 Hind helicopter after taking over the Kunduz airport near the border with Tajikistan, the MEA said, “It was not an Indian Air Force helicopter. It (ownership of the copter) is an internal matter of Afghanistan."
 

 

 
Reports earlier claimed that the helicopter was a part of the military assistance that India had provided to the government of President Ashraf Ghani.

 

Indian Consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif had withdrawn all India-based personnel earlier this week as a temporary measure. He said the Indian Consulate there continues to be operational with locally recruited staff.

 

About talks with the Taliban, the spokesperson said New Delhi is in touch with all stakeholders.

 

To a question of the future of various India-made projects in Afghanistan, Mr. Bagchi highlighted that infrastructure projects such as electricity stations, dams and IT facilities, built with Indian assistance, but said all these belong to Afghanistan. India hopes that the country will continue to look after them in the future.

 

Mr. Bagchi refused to spell out details of India’s outreach towards the Taliban and maintained that the Indian diplomatic team is in touch with all stakeholders.

 

 
Quad Meeting:

 

 
“Senior Officials from the Ministry of External Affairs and their counterparts in Quad group Australia, Japan and the United States met by video conference on Thursday, August 12, for consultations. In February, the Quad Foreign Ministers meeting was followed by the historic first Leaders' Summit held in March 2021, which adopted a positive vision and pledged to strengthen cooperation on contemporary challenges. "
 

 

 
The consultations provided an opportunity to exchange views on the wide-ranging impact of COVID-19 in the Indo-Pacific region and the importance of collaborative efforts to contain the pandemic, ensure health security and a quick economic recovery.

 

In this context, they reviewed the progress of the Quad Vaccine initiative, an official release said.

 

The Officials discussed common interest issues and explored collaboration possibilities in resilient supply chains, emerging and critical technologies, maritime security, cybersecurity, counter-terrorism, and disaster relief.

 

The Officials look forward to continuing regular consultations and the following Foreign Ministers’ Meeting later this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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