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India Warns its Citizens of 'High Kidnapping Risk' in Afghanistan': Here's the Global Evacuation Plan

By: News Desk


Last Updated: August 14, 2021, 10:01 IST

Members of Afghan security forces keep watch at the site of yesterday's night-time car bomb blast in Kabul, Afghanistan. (REUTERS)

Members of Afghan security forces keep watch at the site of yesterday's night-time car bomb blast in Kabul, Afghanistan. (REUTERS)

The Indian Embassy is still functional in Kabul but the staff will be evacuated as the crisis on the ground at the capital worsens, top government sources told News18.

India warned its roughly 1,500 residents in Afghanistan of “high risk of kidnapping" in the country as the Taliban overran more key regional cities in an offensive that has left the capital dangerously exposed.

A government official said that there is no plan for evacuation as of now as commercial flights operational. However, all Indian companies have been told categorically to remove Indian personnel from any project site. Employees of foreign companies asked to inform employer that they need to leave, the official added.

The Indian residents have been asked to get themselves registered with the Embassy, which is still functional in Kabul but a contingency plan ready. The Centre also warned Indian journalists arriving in Afghanistan for ground reporting. They have been advised to take additional security measures during their stay and movement in the country.

ALSO READ: Afghanistan Situation ‘Bad to Worse’, Indian Embassy Staff to be Evacuated Soon: Sources


Referring to the death of Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui (without naming him), who was killed by the Taliban last month during his reporting assignment in Afghanistan for Reuters, the advisory said, “As a recent tragic incident demonstrated, the public profile of Indian journalists in Afghanistan entails additional risks."

BJP MP Subramanian Swamy had earlier called on the Narendra Modi government to protect Hindus and Sikhs in the war-torn nation. “We must help the Afghan Government and send 20,000 troops to protect Kabul and also give refuge to Hindus and Sikhs there."

India’s fresh advisory has come even as US, UK, Spain and Canada have started pulling out their residents from the war-torn region.

Here’s What Other Countries are Doing:

US: Washington has moved to quickly pull out their embassy staff and other citizens from Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital. We are further reducing our civilian footprint in Kabul in light of the evolving security situation," US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters, while noting the embassy would remain open.

“This is not abandonment. This is not an evacuation. This is not the wholesale withdrawal." The Pentagon said 3,000 US troops would be deployed to Kabul within the next 24 to 48 hours, underscoring that they would not be used to launch attacks against the Taliban.

US President Joe Biden insisted he has no regrets with his decision, but the speed and ease of the Taliban’s urban victories in recent days has been a surprise and forced new calculations.

UK: Britain’s Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said London would send 600 of its own troops to evacuate its nationals and former Afghan staff. Price said the United States would also start sending in daily flights to evacuate Afghan interpreters and others who assisted the Americans.

Canada: Canadian special forces will deploy to Afghanistan where Canadian embassy staff in Kabul will be evacuated before closing, The Associated Press quoted a source familiar with the plan. The official, who was not authorized to talk publicly about the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity, did not say how many special forces would be sent. A report in CTV quoted another source as saying that sensitive documents are being destroyed before the place is cleared out.

Canada said Friday it will take in up to 20,000 Afghan refugees, including women leaders, government workers and others facing threats from the Taliban, as insurgents advanced across the country seizing major cities. “The situation in Afghanistan is heartbreaking and Canada will not stand idly by," Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino told a news conference.

Spain: Spain announced on Friday it had begun to repatriate its few citizens left in Afghanistan as well as personnel from its embassy in Kabul and Afghan colleagues. Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares signalled “the start of repatriation of embassy personnel, Spaniards who remained in the country as well as Afghans and their families who worked at our side," according to a statement. “Spain is ready for any eventuality, including that of emptying the embassy if necessary," the foreign minister said.

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first published:August 13, 2021, 09:12 IST
last updated:August 14, 2021, 10:01 IST