Afghanistan Crisis: Evacuating Indians is ‘top priority,’ Jaishankar says after an all-party meeting

After an all-party meeting, MEA Jaishankar has said that evacuating Indian citizens is our immediate concern and the friendship will guide future relations between India and Afghanistan

The government has briefed all floor leaders of the political parties about the ‘critical’ Afghanistan situation. Around 37 leaders from 31 political parties have attended the meeting today.

Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Prahlad Joshi, Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha Piyush Goyal, and Union Minister of External Affairs Dr. S Jaishankar was also present at the meeting. The meeting began with introductory remarks of the external affairs minister.

Jaishankar in the all-party meeting

In the meeting, Jaishankar has stressed that the evacuation of Indians is the ‘top priority.’ He said that India is focussing on evacuating Afghan civilians and Indian citizens from Talibani Afghanistan.

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

He also took a diplomatic stand on future relations with Afghanistan by saying that the friendship between the two countries will guide us. “Our strong friendship with the people of Afghanistan is reflected in the more than 500 projects we have there…,” he tweeted.

Congress in all-party meeting on Afghanistan Crisis

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge has said to ANI that this is our country’s problem. He also added all parties should work together. Kharge further stated that all parties were asked to wait and watch, and everybody took a similar view.

When Kharge raised the issue of deporting an Afghan female (diplomat), the government replied that it was a mistake and they will look into the matter, ANI tweeted.

India bans all visas for Afghanistan except e-Visa

Indian government yesterday has announced that it has mandated e-Visa for Afghan refugees who sought to come to India and are presently not in India. The press release states that all other visas issued to the Afghans stand invalid with immediate effect.

Keeping in mind the evolving security concerns in the country after reports of missing Afghan passports surfaced across media, the decision was taken. India is currently operating two flights daily in Kabul.

Meanwhile, the US and allies have asked the civilians to avoid crowding at the airport due to attack threats by the Islamic State militants. French Prime Minister has said that France will end the evacuation process by Friday. The UK will also stop evacuation before the deadline, 31 August.

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