Disturbing visuals have emerged from Afghanistan, especially the Kabul Airport, as thousands of Afghans try to flee the country fearing for their lives. As the Taliban took over, chaotic scenes at the airport compelled its brief closure. Several people were reportedly killed in the stampede and violence at the airport on Monday.
India has sought US assistance in restoring airport operations in Kabul in order to facilitate the evacuation of Indian nationals stuck in Afghanistan.
India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar has spoken to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to seek the American government’s help .
Unprecedented and chaotic scenes were witnessed at the Hamid Karzai International Airport after Turkey backed off manning operations at the airport. The airport is being technically manned by US Forces, with air traffic control under American security cover.
The first batch of Indians came on Sunday via an Air India flight. The Indian Ministry of External Affairs and security officials began bringing evacuees from HKI Airport on Monday after negotiations with the Taliban. India had kept two aircraft on stand by for officials to be evacuated as soon as the US-manned ATC gave the green light.
India Introduces E-Visa to Fast Track Applications
The government on Tuesday announced a new category of electronic visa to fast track applications from Afghans who wish to leave the strife torn country. The new visa category is called “e-Emergency X-Misc Visa”.
MHA reviews visa provisions in view of the current situation in Afghanistan. A new category of electronic visa called “e-Emergency X-Misc Visa” introduced to fast-track visa applications for entry into India.@HMOIndia @PIB_India @DDNewslive @airnewsalerts
— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) August 17, 2021
“The government will take all steps to ensure the safety and security of Indian nationals and our interests in Afghanistan”, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi told the media.
Hindus and Sikhs Huddle in Kabul’s Sikh Shrine
Sikh and Hindu families in Afghanistan have taken refuge inside a Sikh shrine, a Gurdwara, in Kabul as thousands of people tried desperately to flee the country.
India has set up a cell to coordinate repatriation in Afghanistan, said Arindam Bagchi, late on Monday night.
Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee President Manjinder Singh Sirsa said more than 320 people of minority communities have taken refuge in the Karte Parwan Gurdwara Sahib in Kabul.