50 diplomats, security personnel evacuated from Afghanistan's Kandahar as Taliban advances
Kabul (Afghanistan) | Jagran News Desk: Amid the growing uncertainty over the future of Afghanistan, India on Sunday said that it has evacuated around 50 diplomats and security personnel of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) from the Kandahar consulate after the Taliban seized several key areas around the city.
Diplomatic sources said that a special aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) was sent on Saturday to bring back the diplomats and the ITBP officials from Kandahar. However, they dismissed media reports of shutting the Indian Consulate in Kandahar and said that the "mission remains functional".
"Due to the deteriorating security situation in Kandahar, some staff of the Indian embassy has been evacuated, emergency services of the consulate remain operational," the sources told news agency ANI.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Ministry of External Affairs had said that India was "closely monitoring" the security situation, particularly around Kandahar and Mazar cities while adding that New Delhi has no plan to close its mission in Kabul.
Sources have said that Afghanistan officials have also briefied the India officials about the security situation and how Taliban is trying to expand its control in various parts of the country.
"With the Afghan security situation deteriorating, plans have been discussed for bringing back our citizens and officials present in different parts of that country and multiple agencies are in discussion for this purpose," government sources told ANI.
The security situation in Afghanistan has drastically changed after the United States (US) started withdrawing its troops, allowing Taliban to expand its territories. On Friday, a Taliban official claimed that they have captured 85 per cent of territory in Afghanistan.
However, Afghanistan officials have dismissed Taliban's assertion, saying it is a part of its "propaganda campaign". Meanwhile, hundreds of Afghan security personnel and refugees have fleed to Iran and Tajikistan, causing concerns in southeast Asia.
"We will take all measures so that Islamic State will not operate on Afghan territory... and our territory will never be used against our neighbours," Reuters quoted Taliban official Shahabuddin Delawar as saying. "You and the entire world community have probably recently learned that 85 per cent of the territory of Afghanistan has come under the control".
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma