The Indian embassy in Kabul has put out an advisory directing all of its nationals in Afghanistan to make immediate travel arrangements to return before commercial air services are discontinued.
This alert follows India's move to evacuate officials and nationals from Mazar-e-Sharif.
New Delhi has advised Indian firms operating in Afghanistan to immediately withdraw Indian employees out of project sites before air travel is discontinued.
The embassy asked Indian nationals working for Afghan or foreign companies in Afghanistan to immediately request their employers to facilitate their travel from project sites to India in view of the ground situation. It said the security advisory issued on 29 June and 24 July remained valid.
"Further, as violence in many parts of Afghanistan has escalated, commercial air travel services to many provinces and cities are getting discontinued," the embassy said.
"All Indian nationals visiting, staying and working in Afghanistan are strongly advised to keep themselves updated on the availability of commercial flights from various parts of Afghanistan and make immediate travel arrangements to return to India before commercial air services are discontinued to their place of stay/visit in Afghanistan," it added.
India has now closed all its consulates, leaving only the embassy in Kabul operational, a government official told Mint.
— India in Afghanistan (@IndianEmbKabul) August 10, 2021
Here's what the advisory said:
- Indian companies operating in Afghanistan are strongly advised to immediately withdraw their Indian employees out of project sites in Afghanistan before air travel services get discontinued.
- Indian nationals working for Afghan or foreign companies in Afghanistan should immediately request their employer to facilitate their travel from project sites to India.
- Special attention is once again drawn to the members of the Indian media arriving in Afghanistan. The contents of this advisory are valid for such Indian media persons also. It is very essential that all Indian media persons arriving/staying in Afghanistan establish contact with the Public Affairs and Security Wing of the Embassy for a personalized briefing, including specific advice for the location they are travelling to. This will help media persons make a better assessment of the risks involved, given the rapid changes in security situations taking place in different parts of the country.
- All Indian nationals are once again advised to register themselves with the Embassy of India website: https://ift.tt/35Yp3fp or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org immediately.
This advisory came hours after the Indian government shut its consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif, the biggest city in the north, and urged its diplomates to leave Afghanistan on a special flight, which is scheduled to take off from Mazar-e-Sharif city late today evening.
The development came amid the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan. Staff members from India’s consulate in the city will also be evacuated, PTI reported, citing unnamed officials.
This gains significance in light of the fact that the insurgents now have their eyes on Mazar-e-Sharif, the biggest city in the north, whose fall would signal the total collapse of government control in a region that has traditionally been anti-Taliban.
With inputs from PTI