Afghanistan: Around 300 Indians likely to be evacuated from kabul

New Delhi: Around 300 Indian nationals are expected to be brought back home from Afghanistan by Sunday as part of India’s evacuation mission in view of the deteriorating security situation in Afghan capital Kabul, people familiar with the development said.

Over 80 Indians were on Saturday taken to Tajikistan capital Dushanbe from Kabul on board a military transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force and the group will be brought back to Delhi in a special Air India flight from the central Asian city early on Sunday, they said.

Close to 100 Indians are likely to be brought back to India from Kabul in an Indian Air Force heavy-lift aircraft by Sunday, they added.

Separately, another group of over 90 Indians, most of whom are employees of a number of foreign companies that were operating in Afghanistan, were flown in to Doha by US and NATO aircraft.

These people are also set to be brought back home on Sunday, the people cited above said.

The total number of Indians to be evacuated on Sunday is around 300, they said.

India has already evacuated 200 people including the Indian envoy and other staffers of its embassy in Kabul in two C-17 heavy-lift transport aircraft of the IAF after the Taliban seized control of Kabul last Sunday.

The first evacuation flight brought back over 40 people, mostly staffers at the Indian embassy, on Monday.

The second C-17 aircraft evacuated around 150 people, including Indian diplomats, officials, security personnel and some stranded Indians from Kabul on Tuesday.

The Taliban swept across Afghanistan this month, seizing control of almost all key towns and cities including Kabul in the backdrop of the withdrawal of the US forces.

The mission to evacuate close to 200 Indians was accomplished with support from the US.

Following the evacuation, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the focus now would be to ensure the safe return of all Indian nationals from the Afghan capital.

The MEA said the immediate priority for the government is to obtain accurate information about all Indian nationals currently staying in Afghanistan.

It also requested Indians as well as their employers to urgently share the relevant details with the special Afghanistan cell.

According to a rough estimate earlier, the number of Indians stranded in Afghanistan could be around 400 and India has been looking at ways to evacuate them including by coordinating with the US and other friendly countries.