India evacuates officials from Kandahar amid increasing violence in the region
As violence increases in Afghanistan, India has brought back its personnel from its consulate in Kandahar. India has brought back its diplomats and ITBP or Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel from the consulate in the southern city.
In a statement, India’s Ministry of External Affairs, spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “Due to the intense fighting near Kandahar city, India-based personnel have been brought back for the time being” and this is “purely temporary measure until the situation stabilizes”. The consulate is being operated through local staff members. Meanwhile, the Indian embassy in Kabul will continue the delivery of visa and consular services.
The MEA statement explained that “The safety and security of our personnel is paramount. The Consulate General of India in Kandahar has not been closed”. India has been “closely monitoring the evolving security situation” in Afghanistan even as a few days ago the Afghan envoy to India Farid Mamundzay briefed about the development in the country to India’s foreign secretary Harsh Shringla.
Kandahar is the second-largest city in the country and in the past has been the Taliban’s base. It is the same city that saw the Indian Airlines IC 814 being taken to by Pakistani terror groups after being hijacked in Kathmandu in December 1999. Currently, around 10 districts of the province have fallen into the hands of the Taliban.
Source – DNA