Amid intense clashes between Afghan security forces and the Taliban in Afghanistan, India issued an advisory on August 12, urging its nationals to adhere to the steps announced earlier. This is the fourth advisory in less than two months.
The Indian Embassy in Afghanistan also said that the guidelines mentioned in the previous advisories are still valid and must be followed.
On August 10, India had urged its nationals to leave Afghanistan on a special flight from Mazar-e-Sharif amid clashes with the Taliban.
“A special flight is leaving from Mazar-e-Sharif to New Delhi. Any Indian nationals in and around Mazar-e-Sharif are requested to leave for India in the special flight scheduled to depart late today evening,” the Indian consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif had tweeted.
Another tweet had urged the nationals to immediately share their full name, passport, number, date of expiry on a couple of WhatsApp numbers.
As many as 50 Indian nationals, including diplomats, left the Mazar-e-Sharif and reached New Delhi on August 11. Around 1,500 Indians are still in Afghanistan.
“As violence in many parts of Afghanistan has escalated, commercial air travel services to many provinces and cities are getting discontinued. 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 Indian before commercial air services are discontinued to their place PF stay/visit in Afghanistan,” stated the third security advisory issued by Indian Embassy in Kabul earlier this week.
The embassy also urged Indian media to take necessary precautions while ground reporting, referring to the recent tragic death of photojournalist Danish Siddiqui.
The Taliban have confirmed that they had turned their sights on Mazar-e-Sharif and have launched a four-pronged attack on the city. Sheberghan to its west and Kunduz and Taloqan in the east have already been captured. Mazar-e-Sharif is the largest city in the north.
Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled national peace and reconciliation process has gained New Delhi’s support.
In May 2021, the US-led military coalition began the pullout of its forces, which led Afghanistan’s long-running conflict to escalate quickly and dramatically. The exercise is expected to be completed before the month ends.
Across the country, the Taliban have taken control of numerous districts. As per US intelligence assessments, the country’s civilian government could fall to the terror group within months of the withdrawal of US forces.
US, UK, Germany call back citizens
Amid the clashes, the US, the UK and Germany have also called back their citizens from Afghanistan.
“The US Embassy urges US citizens to leave Afghanistan immediately using available commercial flight options,” a notice on the embassy’s website said.
“Given the security conditions and reduced staffing, the Embassy’s ability to assist US citizens in Afghanistan is extremely limited even within Kabul,” the notice said.
“Reminder: British nationals should call the Embassy on +93 (0) 700 102 000 and select ‘Consular services for British nationals’ immediately to confirm their departure plans The British Embassy remains open, and continues to provide support to the government of Afghanistan,” the British embassy in Kabul wrote.
Germany also urged its citizens to leave Afghanistan. “German nationals on the ground are strongly urged to take opportunities to leave the country on scheduled flights as soon as possible,” the Foreign Ministry said on its website.