‘Hope There Is Immediate Ceasefire’ Says MEA On ‘Deteriorating Situation’ in Afghanistan

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday expressed concerns about the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and said that there will be an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire. Amid ongoing violence by the Taliban in Afghanistan, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a briefing that Indians in Afghanistan have been asked to return through commercial flights. “We will ensure all necessary assistance to Hindus and Sikhs,” said Bagchi on helping minorities.

However, he said that there is no formal evacuation mechanism.

Bagchi added that India is supporting all peace initiatives taken by Afghanistan. “It is a rapidly evolving situation. We continue to hope that there will be an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire,” he said.

With the capture of the city of Ghazni on Thursday, the Taliban has taken nine provincial capitals under its control in just a week. According to reports, the Afghanistan government has offered them a share in the agreement if they agreed to ceasefire.

Bagchi, on the helicopters that were gifted to Afghanistan, said that it is now their internal matter. Earlier today, a video of a Mi-35 chopper, possibly one of the helicopters gifted by India, being seized by the Taliban from Afghan National Defence Forces surfaced on social media.

On discussions with the Taliban, Bagchi said that India is in touch with all stakeholders but did not comment further.

While reports of Tabul seizing Kabul in 90 days have been circulating, Bagchi said, “Indian embassy in Kabul is not shutting. We will not get into speculation that Kabul will fall in 3 months or less.”

India brought back about 50 of its officials and citizens living in and around Mazar-e-Sharif amid fierce fighting between the Afghan forces and the rapidly advancing Taliban near the capital of the Balkh province in Northern Afghanistan on Wednesday.

“This is a temporary measure. Our Consulate there continues to be operational with locally recruited staff,” said Bagchi.

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