Govt strongly committed to ensuring full evacuation: EAM S Jaishankar after all party meet on Afghanistan

So far, India has evacuated 300 Indian nationals and nearly the same number of foreign nationals. India has permission to operate two flights from Kabul every day

Representative image
Representative image

NH Web Desk

At the all-party meet called by the Centre on Thursday, the government told 31 opposition parties that their priority is to evacuate all Indian nationals from Afghanistan.

Sources said that Foreign Minister S Jaishankar briefed the parties about the evacuation policies being executed by the US, Russia and China, among other countries.

News agency PTI quoted Jaishankar as saying that India is trying to evacuate as many people as possible and that nearly 15,000 citizens had sought help from the government in this regard. So far, India has evacuated 300 Indian nationals and nearly the same number of foreign nationals. India has permission to operate two flights from Kabul every day.

Evacuations are being conducted at a slow pace because of the volatile situation in Kabul, and also because it is difficult to locate the individuals who had not registered with the Embassy on reaching Kabul. But the MEA is committed to their safe return, the government told the Opposition, according to NDTV.

Jaishankar also tweeted, “We have undertaken evacuation operations in extremely difficult conditions, especially at the airport. Our immediate concern and task is evacuation, and the long-term interest is the friendship for the Afghan people.”

According to sources, the opposition leaders were told that the Taliban broke the promises made to the “US and its allies in Doha”, by breaching the two-week cease-fire “in exchange of President Ashraf Ghani’s resignation”, NDTV reported.

"We briefed the Floor Leaders of all political parties today on the Afghanistan situation today. Our focus is on evacuation and the government is doing everything to evacuate people," EAM S Jaishankar said addressing media after the meet.

"The message which we all political parties including the government wants to give is that on this matter we all have a very similar view. We have a strong national position on Afghanistan. The friendship with Afghan people matters to us." news agency ANI quoted him as saying.

Under Operation 'Devi Shakti' we've done 6 evacuation flights. We have brought back most of the Indians but not all of them as some of them couldn't make it for the flight yesterday. We'll definitely try & bring out everybody. We've also brought out some Afghan citizens, the external affairs minister told the media.

The government is very strongly committed to ensuring full evacuation as soon as possible, and also seeing that in terms of any international decisions which are made, any gatherings that are there, that our role is recognized. There will be many more meetings in coming days, the Minister added.

Present at the meeting were Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Prahlad Joshi, Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, DMK’s TR Baalu and former PM HD Deve Gowda among others.

This is entire country's problem. We have to work together for interests of people and nation. They told us to wait and watch. All parties have taken the same view, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said after the all-party briefing.

The last evacuation was conducted on Sunday when a special IAF plane brought back 168 individuals, including 107 Indian nationals. The evacuation process is also being done with the help of Air India, IndiGo and Vistara.

The prime minister had chaired a meeting to “monitor the safe evacuation of Indians stranded in Afghanistan” on August 17.

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