Prime Minister Narendra Modi has formed a high-level group to focus on the immediate priorities of India in view of the evolving situation in Afghanistan, sources have said. The group will comprise foreign minister S Jaishankar, national Security Advisor Ajit Doval and other senior officials.
The group has been meeting regularly over the last few days, sources said.
Key issues including safe return of stranded Indians and the travel of Afghan nationals (especially minorities) to India has been discussed. It has also been briefed that the territory of Afghanistan is not being used in any manner for terrorism directed against India.
The group has also been monitoring the ground situation in Afghanistan and international reactions, including the resolution passed this morning by the UN Security Council. Under India’s presidency, the Security Council adopted a resolution demanding that territory of Afghanistan not be used to threaten any country or shelter terrorists.
Today is the last day of evacuation from the war-torn nation currently taken over by the Taliban. Last night, the US forces abandoned Kabul’s airport, from where more than 123,000 people fled for their lives.
There is still no clarity on the formation of a government in Kabul, over two weeks after the Taliban seized control of the Afghan capital city.
On August 26, the government held an all-party meeting to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, where it said the Taliban broke promises made during talks in Doha. The agreement involved a a two-week cease-fire on all sides in exchange for President Ashraf Ghani’s resignation and the start of talks on setting up a transitional government.
At the meeting, Mr Jaishankar had said that India’s priority is evacuation of stranded nationals, and in the long term, amity with the Afghan people.
“We have brought back most Indians… not all. Some could not make it for yesterday’s flight. We will definitely try and bring back everyone. We have instituted an e-visa policy and the government is strongly committed to ensuring a full evacuation as soon as possible,” Mr Jaishankar had said at the meeting.