India has recalled nearly 50 Indian diplomats and security officials posted at its consulate in Kandahar in view of the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and the Taliban’s control of new areas around the southern Afghan city.
According to India Today’s Geeta Mohan report, according to sources, it has been learned that 50 Indians were brought back on Saturday, July 10 by an Indian Air Force aircraft. Sources said that local staff are still on the mission, but, for all practical purposes, the consulate is temporarily closed.
The decision comes a day after the Ministry of External Affairs said that the embassies are not closed, but the administration is monitoring the situation carefully and will take a decision accordingly.
What did the Ministry of External Affairs say?
In his weekly briefing, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said,
You must have seen the clarification issued by our Embassy in Kabul earlier this week. Our embassy in Kabul and consulates in Kandahar and Mazar-e-Sharif are functioning. We are carefully monitoring the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and its impact on the safety and security of Indian citizens in Afghanistan. Our response will be calibrated accordingly.
The Indian consulate in Kandahar had Indian diplomats, support staff and guards from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
Meanwhile, Arindam Bagchi has said that the Consulate General of India in Kandahar has not been closed. However, due to fierce fighting near Kandahar city, personnel based in India have been brought back for some time.
As reports emerged of thousands of allies of the Pakistan-based terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba engaging in fierce fighting, mainly in southern Afghanistan, among Taliban fighters, the Indian security establishment had to take a decision on the safety of Indian personnel.
There were reports that at least two foreign missions in Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of northern Balkh province, have called off their operations in view of the escalating violence in the region. Amid growing concerns in India over the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, Ambassador of Afghanistan Farid Mamundzai had apprised Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla about the situation in Afghanistan.
was issued advisory
The Indian Embassy last week asked all Indians visiting, living and working in Afghanistan to exercise utmost care regarding their safety and avoid all non-essential travel in view of the increasing incidents of violence in various parts of the country. .
In the advisory, the embassy said the security situation in Afghanistan remains “alarming”. Terrorist groups have carried out several complex attacks, including targeting civilians. Indian citizens additionally face a “grave threat” of abduction.
At the same time, according to media reports, the local authorities of Afghanistan had admitted that the Islam Khala town, important for trade on the border of Afghanistan and Iran, has also been handed over to the Taliban. Along with Islam Kala, the Torghundi town adjacent to Turkmenistan has also gone under the control of the Taliban. Both towns fall in Herat province. Along with this, the Taliban has occupied its borders with Iran, Turkmenistan, China, Tajikistan and Pakistan, according to Ariana News.