Modi chairs CCS meeting on Afghanistan situation, Indians' safety
New Delhi, August 17, 2021
Amid the evolving situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar attended the meeting.
Though the details of the meeting were not shared, it is learnt that the government's highest decision-making body discussed the tense security situation there.
The government's priority is to safely evacuate the remaining Indians in Afghanistan and also ensure the security of Hindus and Sikhs there.
India has initiated various development projects in Afghanistan both by the government and the private sector and their future hangs in the balance due to the political developments in that country.
The main challenge for travel to and from Afghanistan is the operational status of Kabul airport, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said on Tuesday.
In view of the prevailing situation in Afghanistan, the government decided that its Embassy personnel in Kabul would be immediately moved to India. This movement has been completed in two phases and the Ambassador and all other personnel reached New Delhi on Tuesday.
"We have been issuing periodic travel and security advisories for all Indian nationals in Afghanistan, given the deteriorating security situation there. Those already in Afghanistan were urged to return immediately while others were advised not to travel there," the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement on Tuesday.
"Nevertheless, we understand that a number of Indians are stranded in that country, some of whom are employed by third country organisations. Our immediate priority is to obtain accurate information about all Indian nationals currently present in Afghanistan. They and/or their employers are requested to urgently share the relevant details with the MEA's Special Afghanistan Cell," the statement added.
"As regards Afghan nationals, our visa services will continue through an e-Emergency visa facility, which has been extended to Afghan nationals. We have already received requests from Afghan Sikh and Hindu community leaders, and we are in touch with them," the MEA said.