Tuesday, December 6, 2022

How could Indians in Kabul escape Taliban?

  • Jayashankar talks to US secretary of State
  • 120 Indian reach home safely

Indians who were stranded in Kabul had a miraculous rescue on Tuesday. They landed safely at Jamnagar airport in Gujarat in the morning.  About 120 Indians including Indian ambassador to Afghanistan Rudrendra Tandon alighted an Indian Air Force plane which brought them to safety from Kabul which is in turmoil.

In fact, two Indian Air Force C-17 transport planes flew into Kabul airport on 15 August to evacuate Indian embassy staff and others who were stranded in Kabul. There were some security personnel from Indo-Tibetan border police who were taking care of the security of the embassy staff. They were living in uncertain conditions not knowing whether they would be able to reach Kabul airport or not. Indian government just as the governments of the US and Britain did not expect the end so early. It was thought that the US trained Afghan army would hold out at least for a week. But with the fleeing of President Ashraf Ghani to Tazakistan, the IAF hurriedly sent the planes.

The security situation was worse in the intervening night of August 15-16 making movements difficult with Taliban fighters wielding  machine guns all over the place. Most of the Indians could not venture to go the airport. Embassy building is in a security zone and there was no fear as long as they remained in the building. But stirring out was a risky proposition.

A batch of 45 persons could be taken to the airport on Monday and put in one of the two transport planes sent by the Indian Air Force. They were frisked by the Taliban security personnel on their way and their personal belongings were taken away by the militants. The aircraft with 45 Indians took off from Kabul airport under very challenging circumstances with the people still loitering on the runway. Thousands of people were there at the airport. They were keen on getting out of Afghanistan, their mother country.

It seems Indian foreign minister Jaishakar had a talk with American Secretary of State  Antony Blinken and that conversation had helped. Tuesday morning the remaining 120 Indians could reach Kabul airport and they were soon made to board the waiting aircraft. The IAF C-17 aircraft had safely left Kabul airport and landed in Jamnagar in Gujarat. Ambassador Rudrendra Tandon thanked the Indian Air Force for bring them back to safety.

K. Ramachandra Murthy
K. Ramachandra Murthy
Founder & Editor

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