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Kabul Airport Blasts: India Seeks a Peaceful Afghanistan, Says MEA, Calls Quad Important for Consultations

Taliban fighters guard outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, a day after deadly attacks. (Associated Press)

Taliban fighters guard outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, a day after deadly attacks. (Associated Press)

550 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan to India till now.

India seeks a prosperous and peaceful Afghanistan and evacuations are ongoing amid the security threat in Kabul, said Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi on Friday, addressing queries on the situation in the warn-torn country overtaken by the Taliban earlier this month.

Bagchi said India had evacuated more than 550 people on six flights through Kabul or via Dushanbe, which included 260 Indians (including embassy and other personnel), and the rest being Afghans and other officials.

According to the MEA spokesperson, the Government of India was also coordinating on evacuation with other agencies, and was in touch with various parties on the matter.

Asked about the people left to evacuate from Afghanistan, Bagchi said the vast majority of Indians who had sought to come back had, adding that those who remained would be brought back soon; a number that kept changing with requests coming in.

On being asked whether Afghan nationals being evacuated to India would be given a ‘refugee’ status, the MEA spokesperson said they were being kept on emergency visa-basis for now, which was valid for six months. He said the situation would be assessed after the time period ended due to its evolving nature.

No Info on Govt formation in Afghanistan, Quad Important for India

“The situation on the ground is uncertain. Our prime concern is security and safety of citizens. Right now, no information on the formation of the government in Afghanistan is available," said Bagchi.

On discussions with relevant stakeholders amid the Afghan crisis, Bagchi said the Indo-Pacific Quad grouping was important for India.

He said regular consultations with Russia were ongoing on the Afghanistan situation, through the channel that was spoken about in the conversation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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first published:August 27, 2021, 17:27 IST