After the Taliban entered Kabul and the Afghan government led by President Ashraf Ghani collapsed, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in India has been accelerating its operation to evacuate diplomats and members of the Afghan Sikh and Hindu communities.
An Indian Air Force C-17 aircraft took off from Kabul with more than 120 Indian officials, Indian media reports said.
India’s National Security Advisor (NSA), Ajit Doval, has been engaged with his US counterpart Jake Sullivan Amid to coordinate the evacuation of Indian citizens from Afghanistan. US security forces are now back in control of Kabul airport. After the conversation between the two NSAs, the Indian contingent was taken inside the American security zone at the airport from where they took off.
Panic has gripped the Afghan capital as people fear returning to the Taliban's brutal rule and the threat of reprisal killings. Thousands of Afghans flooded the tarmac on August 16 morning, at one point swarming around a departing US military plane as it taxied down the runway.
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told the BBC that India, as one of the partner nations in the region, will have a crucial role to play in the handling of the crisis in the region.
US President Joe Biden made his first speech since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan and reiterated that he stands by his decision to withdraw American troops after years of war.