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India

IAF Flight To Reach Afghanistan Today As 250 Indians Await Evacuation At Kabul Airport

Several Indians are stranded at the Kabul airport after Taliban captured the capital city Kabul. The IAF has operated multiple flights to the country to evacuate Indians as well as Afghan citizens who wish to seek asylum in India.

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Jamnagar: Indian nationals on their arrival from crisis-hit Afghanistan by an Indian Air Force’s C-17 aircraft, in Jamnagar, Tuesday, August 17, 2021. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: Over 250 Indians are said to be stranded at the Kabul airport awaiting evacuation amid the chaos to leave Afghanistan following the Taliban’s return to power. Sources told India Ahead that an IAF aircraft will touch down at the Hamid Karzai International Airport later today to evacuate the stranded Indians.

Efforts by several countries to airlift their nationals and Afghan refugees hit a roadblock when Kabul airspace was closed to commercial flights on August 16.

Earlier India had evacuated Indian ambassador and its staff at the embassy in Kabul in a heavy-lift military transport aircraft.

The C-17 aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) landed at Jamnagar in Gujarat at around 11:15 am en route to the Hindon airbase near the national capital, sources told PTI.

READ MORE: US Struggles With Afghanistan Evacuations As Aug 31 Deadline Looms

On Monday, another C-17 aircraft had evacuated around 40 people including a number of Indian embassy staff from Kabul before the operations at the airport in the city were suspended.

The two military aircraft flew into Kabul using the Iranian airspace while avoiding the route through the Pakistani airspace, the people cited above said.

Jamnagar: Government officials welcome Indian nationals on their arrival from crisis-hit Afghanistan by an Indian Air Force’s C-17 aircraft, in Jamnagar, Tuesday, August 17, 2021. (PTI Photo)

Expressing concern over the events unfolding in Afghanistan, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said at the UN Security Council on Thursday that the world needs to act against those countries who provide a safe haven to terrorists.

Taking a veiled dig at Pakistan, he sadi groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed continue to operate with both impunity and encouragement.

In a swipe at China, Jaishankar said that countries should not place “blocks and holds” on requests to designated an individual or group as terrorist and terrorist groups.

Kabul: Taliban fighters pose for a photograph in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021 AP/PTI

With the situation deteriorating the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) introduced electronic visa called “e-Emergency X-Misc Visa” to allow Afghan people to seek refuge in India.

The Ministry has also set up a special cell that will coordinate requests for repatriation and asylum for people from Afghanistan.

(With inputs from PTI)