Over 200 Indians are stuck in Kabul amid Afghanistan crisis
More than 200 Indian nationals are still stuck in Afghanistan's capital Kabul, NDTV reported citing sources. They include Foreign Ministry officials and paramilitary soldiers tasked for their security. However, the Afghan airspace has been shut and there are chaotic scenes at the international airport in Kabul. The Taliban took over Afghanistan on Sunday after the capital fell and President Ashraf Ghani left the country.
The Indians stuck in Kabul include nearly 100 personnel of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), entrusted with the protection of Indian officials in Afghanistan. An Indian aircraft is stationed at the Kabul airport, however, officials are concerned as to how Indians can be safely taken there. The Taliban has notably enforced a curfew in the city, the aforementioned sources said.
The Afghan airspace has been closed after thousands of desperate people overran the Kabul airport in an attempt to flee. At least five people were killed at the Kabul airport, but it remained unclear whether the cause was stampede or firing. Earlier in the day, an Air India flight scheduled to fly to Afghanistan to bring back people had to be canceled.
On Sunday evening, an Air India flight carrying 129 passengers from Kabul landed in Delhi. It carried both Indian and Afghan nationals. Just days ago, India had evacuated its citizens from the city of Mazar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan before it was seized by the Taliban.
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said that close to 200 Sikhs are also stranded at a Gurudwara in Afghanistan. He urged the Indian government to evacuate all Indians from the country. "Urge @DrSJaishankar, MEA, GoI, to arrange for immediate evacuation of all Indians...My govt. is willing to extend any help needed to ensure their safe evacuation," he tweeted this afternoon.
The Taliban is now in full control of Afghanistan after its capital Kabul fell and President Ashraf Ghani left the country over the weekend. The terror group seized city after city before reaching Kabul on Sunday afternoon and asking for a "peaceful transition" of power, which it was given. Ghani has reportedly fled to the neighboring Tajikistan.