An Indian Air Force C-17 aircraft on Tuesday morning brought back 120 Indian officials, including the last batch of the Indian embassy staff, ITBP personnel, and four media persons, from the Kabul airport.
Indian Ambassador Rudrendra Tandon and other staff members were on board the flight from Kabul. The plane with the Indian officials landed in Gujarat’s Jamnagar at around 11 am.
Another flight carrying Indians from Kabul landed at the Hindon airport in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad on Tuesday.
“In view of the prevailing circumstances, it has been decided that our Ambassador in Kabul and his Indian staff will move to India immediately,” MEA spokesperson said.
In view of the prevailing circumstances, it has been decided that our Ambassador in Kabul and his Indian staff will move to India immediately.
— Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) August 17, 2021
Kabul airport was reopened for evacuation operations on Tuesday morning by the American agencies.
Immediately after passengers on board the C-17 heavy-lift transport aircraft deplaned, they were greeted by people present on the tarmac, the official said. Many passengers were garlanded and many others were seen chanting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’.
How Indians were evacuated from Kabul
As part of efforts to evacuate its officials and staffers from Afghanistan, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Monday evening spoke with his American counterpart Jake Sullivan for a smooth evacuation of Indians from there.
Top government sources told India Today TV that Ajit Doval had a long conversation with the American NSA Jake Sullivan regarding the evacuation which had become ‘difficult’ due to the lack of clarity about authorities on the ground.
It was after the conversation that the Indian officials were taken inside the secure American zone at the Kabul airport last night from where they took off this morning, sources said.
The National Security Council has been working towards the smooth exit of Indian citizens and officials from Afghanistan in coordination with other authorities and has also been coordinating the special military flights going to Kabul. The Americans have taken over the airport and have helped the Indians also to leave from there, sources said.
India introduces ‘e-Emergency X-Misc Visa’ for Afghans
The Ministry of Home Affairs said that it is reviewing visa provisions in view of the current situation in Afghanistan. A new category of electronic visa called “e-Emergency X-Misc Visa” has been introduced to fast-track visa applications for entry into India.
“MHA reviews visa provisions in view of the current situation in Afghanistan. A new category of electronic visa called “e-Emergency X-Misc Visa” introduced to fast-track visa applications for entry into India,” MHA spokesperson said in a statement.
Thousands of people desperate to flee Afghanistan thronged Kabul’s airport on Monday after the Taliban seized the capital.
The Taliban swept into Kabul on Sunday after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, bringing an end to a two-decade campaign in which the US and its allies had tried to transform Afghanistan.
The situation in Kabul is complex and ‘quite fluid now: Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Rudrendra Tandon
Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Rudrendra Tandon said in Jamnagar that the situation in Kabul is complex and “quite fluid” now and added that Indians stuck in the city will be brought back home when the commercial flight services resume.
“Happy to be back home safely and securely. We are a very large mission. We are a mission of 192 personnel who were evacuated from Afghanistan literally within three days in a very orderly fashion in two phases,” news agency PTI quoted Tandon as saying.
Tandon, who assumed charge as Indian ambassador in Afghanistan in August last year, said the embassy assisted and even gave shelter to many distressed Indians following the fast-changing situation in Kabul.
“We are continuously monitoring the situation because there are still some Indian citizens who are there. That is why Air India will continue to run its commercial services to Kabul,” Tandon said.
“Your welcome has an impact on all of us. Thank you to the Indian Air Force who flew us out under conditions that are not normal,” Tandon, said, adding continuing to work for the welfare of the Afghan people is very much on India’s mind
This is the second evacuation flight. On Monday, another C-17 aircraft had evacuated around 40 people including some Indian embassy staff from Kabul before the operations at the airport in the city were suspended.