In the midst of a chaotic scenario in Afghanistan, India flew 168 people out of Kabul on a special return flight.
The 107-person Indian Air Force flight has landed at the Hindon IAF facility in Ghaziabad, near Delhi. Two other repatriation flights arrived in Delhi early Sunday morning.
Since last Sunday, when the Taliban ousted the government and assumed control, the situation in Afghanistan has been volatile.
India has granted permission for two daily flights from Kabul
According to reports, India has been granted permission to operate two flights per day from Kabul to evacuate its nationals.
The approval was provided by the military of the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which are currently in charge of Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport.
Arindam Bagchi, a spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), has been posting images from India’s evacuation efforts on social media.
The visuals can be viewed here
IAF special repatriation flight with 168 passengers onboard, including 107 Indian nationals, is on its way to Delhi from Kabul. pic.twitter.com/ysACxClVdX
— Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) August 22, 2021
Two additional aircraft arrived in Delhi earlier today
Earlier in the day, Air India and IndiGo conducted two flights to Kabul, one from Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe and the other from Qatar’s Doha.
Bagchi also released a brief video in which evacuees can be heard singing “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” (which translates to “Victory to Mother India”).
According to reports, once in India, all evacuees would be tested for COVID-19 using RT-PCR.
A group of Indians reportedly kidnapped by the Taliban before they were evacuated
Previously, Indians awaiting evacuation in Kabul were escorted to a police station for questioning after it was reported that they had been abducted by the Taliban. Their travel paperwork was reportedly verified before they were released. The Taliban has dismissed charges of “kidnapping.”
Approximately 1,000 Indians are still in Afghanistan, according to reports
India has closed all of its embassies in Afghanistan and returned the majority of its staff and security personnel.
However, an estimated 1,000 Indian people are said to be still present in various places across Afghanistan.
Recently, India’s Minister of External Affairs, Dr. S Jaishankar, indicated that India is “very closely” monitoring events in Afghanistan, and that its government is currently focused on ensuring the safe evacuation of its residents.
What is going on in Afghanistan?
After seizing numerous key cities in a couple of days, the Taliban captured Kabul on Sunday.
The Taliban’s military success occurred after the US withdrew its forces from the country, bringing an end to the country’s two-decade-long ‘War on Terror.’
Since then, thousands more Afghans have attempted to exit the country. Last Sunday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani also evacuated the country.