Will evacuate Indians, support Afghans who stood by us: MEA

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External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi speaking at a weekly presser on Friday.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi speaking at a weekly presser on Friday.

New Delhi [India], August 27 (ANI): The Ministry of External Affairs on Friday said India's priority will be to evacuate the Indian citizens from Afghanistan and Afghan nationals "who stood by us".

Addressing a weekly presser, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India has evacuated over 550 people in six separate flights, either from Kabul or Dushanbe.

"Of these, over 260 were Indians. The government of India also facilitated the evacuation of Indian nationals through other agencies. We were in touch with various countries, like US, Tajikistan," Bagchi said.

The spokesperson said the overall assessment is that the vast majority of Indians who wish to return have been evacuated. "Some more are likely to be in Afghanistan. I don't have the exact number for that," he added.

Regarding the policy of evacuation, Bagchi said India was able to bring out some Afghan nationals as well as nationals from other countries. "Of these, many of them were Sikhs and Hindus. Primarily, our focus will be on Indian nationals, but we'll also stand by Afghans who stood by us."

This briefing comes a day after External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Thursday said that India's focus is on evacuation and the government is doing everything to evacuate people from Afghanistan post the Taliban takeover.

Speaking after an all-party meeting on the current situation in Afghanistan, Jaishankar said the government is very strongly committed to ensuring full evacuation as soon as possible.

He further informed that under Operation Devi Shakti, the government will try and evacuate Indians from Afghanistan. (ANI)

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