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Afghanistan crisis: PM Modi directs safe evacuation of all Indians; refuge to Sikhs, Hindus

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during the late night Cabinet meet on August 17, directed officials to ensure safe evacuation of all Indian citizens from Afghanistan and to provide shelter to Sikhs and Hindus seeking to flee the country amid the Taliban takeover.

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In view of the present situation in Afghanistan, PM Modi chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security. The meeting was attended by Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. NSA Ajit Doval, Cabinet Secretary Rajeev Gauba, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and India’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Rudrendra Tandon, who returned from the war-torn country earlier in the day, had also attended the meet.

“India must not only protect our citizens, but we must also provide refuge to those Sikh and Hindu minorities, who want to come to India, and we must also provide all possible help to our Afghan brothers and sisters who are looking towards India for assistance,” PM Modi said, as per a News 18 report.

The CCS was briefed in detail on the current and evolving security and political situation in Afghanistan.

India brought back Indian ambassador Tandon and all staff members from its embassy in Kabul in two military transport aircraft in the wake of escalating tension and deteriorating security situation in the Afghan capital after its takeover by the Taliban.

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A military transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force brought back from Kabul around 150 people including Indian diplomats, officials, security personnel and some stranded Indians on Tuesday. Another flight had evacuated around 40 staffers from Kabul on Monday.

Earlier, the MEA had said that the immediate priority for the government is to obtain accurate information about all Indian nationals currently staying in Afghanistan.

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