Breaking its long silence, India said it’s taking all steps to ensure the safety and security of Indian nationals in Afghanistan, said External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi on Monday (August 16).
India is also in touch with representatives of the Afghan Sikh and Hindu communities in Afghanistan and will facilitate the repatriation of those who wish to leave that country.
“The situation in Afghanistan is being monitored on a constant basis at high levels. The government will take all steps to ensure the safety and security of Indian nationals and our interests in Afghanistan,” Bagchi told PTI.
Capping its month-long rapid advances, the Taliban took positions in Kabul on Sunday evening hours after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani left for an unknown destination (some reports say he is in Tajikistan; some say Oman).
“The security situation in Kabul has deteriorated significantly in the last few days. It is changing rapidly even as we speak,” Bagchi said.
He said there are a number of Afghans who have been India’s partners in the promotion of mutual developmental, educational and people-to-people endeavours and India will stand by them.
“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.
“We 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,” Bagchi added.