A special Air Force flight landed in Afghanistan’s capital city Kabul to evacuate stranded Indians. This move follows the Taliban taking over Afghanistan. The country’s airspace is closed for civilian flights, and international flights are being diverted to other routes. Military evacuations are in force with aid from the US troops at Kabul Airport.
Indian Ministry of External Affairs planned the evacuation of Indian nationals in Afghanistan. IAF transport aircraft was kept ready to bring back the Indians stuck in Afghanistan. Several Indians and Afghans were onboard an Air India flight on 15th August. The situations overnight forced countries to divert international flights and evacuate their nationals from Afghanistan.
Flying over Iran, the special flight circumvented the Pakistan Air Space. Reports suggest that at least five people were killed on Monday as people rushed into the airport to board the flights and leave Kabul. It is not clear if the kills happened due to Taliban firing or stampede. There were also reports of firing by the US troops in the airport on Monday.
As per sources in Afghanistan, the airspace in Afghanistan has been reportedly closed for all flights, including overflying the space. There are reports of Air India flights coming from the US that have been diverted to Muscat and are being refueled to reach India. Diplomatic missions are also in a hurry to evacuate their staff.
According to last week’s proceedings, India had already evacuated its personnel and diplomats from its Mazar-e-Sharif consulate. This measure was taken by the Indian Government following the unruly situation in Afghanistan and Taliban troops’ escalating violence. Adding to the situation was Afghanistan’s President Mr. Ashraf Ghani fled from the country, leading to the Taliban forces occupying the country’s Presidential Building.
As per the recent developments, the last commercial flight to Afghanistan was on the 15th of August before the Taliban forces took over the country’s airspace. A spokesperson from Air India stated that the flight scheduled to Kabul cannot fly, as there were no Traffic Control Staff to guide the plane. The spokesperson added that the Talibs capturing the country at an astonishing force started entering the airport just when the Air India flight was about to land.
India has reportedly kept a standby of the C 17 Globemasters for the evacuation operations. One among them has already been to Afghanistan on Sunday. Another one from the group took off on Monday from the Hindon Airforce Station at Delhi’s outskirts. An unidentified source stated that taking people from the embassy premises to the airport is also a challenging situation.
The government’s recent data cited that at least 200 Indian officials, both Foreign Ministry staff and parliamentary security are waiting in Afghanistan for evacuation. The government also extended its support to the Hindus and Sikhs in Afghanistan. A statement from the Talibs read that their troops would cooperate with this move and let the Indian government evacuate people peacefully.