India flies out Kandahar mission personnel as Taliban advance | India News

India flies out Kandahar mission personnel as Taliban advance | India News


NEW DELHI: As uncertainty increases in Afghanistan, New Delhi evacuated all its India-based personnel from Kandahar on Saturday evening by a special flight, as Taliban advanced into the region amid fighting and violence.
The Indian mission is now manned only by local Afghan staff and while it is technically open, for all intents and purposes, India is out of the region. In an announcement, the Taliban claimed this week they control 85% of the country. Security sources feel Taliban are incharge of about a third of the country but have a significant presence at choke points that control cities and important highways.
The MEA spokesperson said on Sunday, “India is closely monitoring the evolving security situation in Afghanistan. The safety and security of our personnel is paramount. The Consulate General of India in Kandahar has not been closed. However, due to the intense fighting near Kandahar city, India-based personnel have been brought back for the time being. I want to emphasise that this is a purely temporary measure until the situation stabilises. The consulate continues to operate through our local staff members.”
For the time being, the Mazar-e-Sharif consulate is still open, and with Indian personnel, but that may not be for too long as the Taliban sweep through the western part of Afghanistan. The Kabul embassy is the only one that is still fully functional with Indian personnel. The Indian ambassador to Afghanistan, Rudrendra Tandon discussed the deteriorating security situation with new Afghan defence minister Bismillah Khan Mohammedi earlier this week.
The Indian government on Thursday indicated that they were watching the situation “carefully”, before pulling out personnel on Saturday.
India had already closed down its missions in Jalalabad and Herat in 2020, citing Covid, but it was clear that the security situation had played a part.
Despite some optimistic assessments by the departing US military forces, the Afghan government security forces are collapsing with barely a fight. The Taliban too are playing a smarter game this time — by controlling and closing off the northern borders as well as on the Iranian side — to capture border revenue sources as well prevent the growth of any Northern Alliance-like formation to challenge them. Many Indian security officials monitoring the Taliban advance believe the Taliban are getting military advice, most likely, from Pakistan.
The Taliban’s progress may mean that it can soon control most of the country. Most other countries, from Australia to China as well as NATO members, have all pulled out their personnel. The Afghan Taliban has activated its traditional support from among Pakistan’s terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba. Several IDs of Pakistan security forces have also been found fighting alongside the Taliban.
Kandahar is the birthplace of the Taliban and in the past week it took over Panjwai and Zharey, and its forces are heading towards taking over Spin Boldak on the Pakistan border. In the west, Taliban captured major border crossings at Islam Qala at the Iran border and Torghundi on the Turkmenistan and have been collecting customs revenue from there.





Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *