The Indian government is under the scanner as it is yet to share what its response is to the developing situation in Afghanistan. Not much is known about India’s plan to evacuate over 200 Indian citizens who are reportedly stuck in Kabul, Afghanistan.
There is curfew in the city, and according to NDTV, the citizens are unable to venture out. According to reports civilian flights have been stopped from departing Kabul airport now. Viral videos on social media showed desperate locals clinging on to US military aircrafts as they taxied on the runway. This was soon followed by images of some people falling to their deaths from the airborne planes, perhaps as soon as the craft’s landing gear which they had been clinging on to had closed. At least two people were reportedly killed when they fell off the plane as it took off from Kabul Airport.
BREAKING: At least 2 people fall to their death after holding on to a plane as it takes off from Kabul Airport pic.twitter.com/m7XU8lwo5S
— BNO News (@BNONews) August 16, 2021
In the city of Kabul, Taliban reportedly entered the Presidential Palace. It has also put journalists under the scanner and reportedly entered the compound of TOLOnews Afghanistan’s first 24-hours news television network. The Taliban forces reportedly “agreed to keep the compound safe.”
— TOLOnews (@TOLOnews) August 16, 2021
This “assurance” has also reportedly been given to Hindus and Sikhs who are in Afghanistan. According to news reports, more than 200 Sikhs are now stuck in a Gurdwara in Afghanistan. Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, on Monday, urged External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to immediately evacuate Indians stuck there.
Urge @DrSJaishankar, MEA, GoI, to arrange for immediate evacuation of all Indians, including around 200 Sikhs, stuck in a Gurudwara in Afghanistan after the #Taliban takeover. My govt is willing to extend any help needed to ensure their safe evacuation. @MEAIndia
— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) August 16, 2021
His appeal came soon after there were reports of gunfire at the Kabul International Airport reportedly to disperse crowds and allow the US plane’s takeoff. Utter chaos reigned at the Kabul airport, as massive crowds continued to stand on the runway and attempt to scramble aboard the aircrafts externally. At least three people were reportedly killed by gunfire at Kabul airport.
#Breaking: At least three people have been killed by gunfire at Kabul airport.
Heavy gunfight going on. pic.twitter.com/yxfVnwbMFn
— Ahmer Khan (@ahmermkhan) August 16, 2021
Video on social media shows people falling to their deaths from an aircraft that had taken off from Kabul airport, presumably having attached themselves from the outside. pic.twitter.com/9KHeiuawXj
— TOLOnews (@TOLOnews) August 16, 2021
According to MS Sirsa, president, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management committee and the National Spokesman, Shiromani Akali Dal, “Taliban Leaders” have met the Sikhs and Hindus “and assured them of their safety.”
Taliban Leaders have met them and assured them of their safety. We are hopeful that Hindus & Sikhs would be able to live a safe/secure life despite political & military changes happening in Afghanistan@ANI @republic @thetribunechd @punjabkesari https://t.co/0ZIn0VQ6Pg pic.twitter.com/xImxiAV1Aj
— Manjinder Singh Sirsa (@mssirsa) August 16, 2021
Dr. S. Jaishankar, the Union Minister of External Affairs, has not made his response to the Afghan Situation public yet, but according to a report in Times Now, on Sunday, S Jaishankar, India’s Minister for External Affairs, said that India and America’s interests may not be perfectly aligned over the volatile situation currently prevailing in Afghanistan. “We clearly have much more overlaps of interest with the United States east of India which is why the Indo-Pacific allows for a platform like the QUAD,” Jaishankar told Times Now, adding, “But, when it comes to Afghanistan, I think we have watched a lot of these decisions with a great deal of concern. Unfortunately, all that we’ve been seeing for the last few days have realized many of those fears.”
According to News18, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is in New York during India’s Presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). It has been reported that he will preside over “two high-level signature events on August 18 and 19. The first event on August 18 will be an open debate on ‘Protecting the Protectors: Technology and Peacekeeping’ while the second event on August 19 will be a high-level briefing on ‘Threats to International Peace and Security caused by Terrorist Acts’.”
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