India a safe haven, Afghan evacuees are reluctant to return

·2-min read
Joyous children seen at Hindon air force base in Ghaziabad (Photo/ANI)
Joyous children seen at Hindon air force base in Ghaziabad (Photo/ANI)

New Delhi [India], August 22 (ANI): After experiencing days of terror that gripped Afghanistan after the Taliban overtook the country, Afghans who landed in India after being evacuated have expressed their unwillingness to return to their home country.

ANI spoke to several Afghan nationals who landed at the Hindon air force base in Ghaziabad earlier today on a special Indian Air Force (IAF) C-17 aircraft. Most of them expressed a reluctance to return to their home country if and when the situation normalizes.

Narrating his chilling experience with terrorists, Afghan national Sadia said that she was held by the Taliban for at least four to five hours and the group had burnt down her home.

"Situation was deteriorating in Afghanistan, so I came here with my daughter and two grandchildren. Our Indian brothers and sisters came to our rescue. They (Taliban) burnt down my house. Women are not safe in Afghanistan. I thank India for helping us," she added.

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A humanitarian crisis has been unfolding in the war-torn country. The recent regime change has forced many Afghans and citizens of other countries to flee the country, fearing an oppressive Taliban rule.

Afghan national said, "We are feeling much relieved now. The situation is Afghanistan is deteriorating day by day. There is immense fear among people. We have witnessed casual firing over crowds."

According to reports, tens of thousands of people have been flocking to the Kabul airport desperate to flee the country that has been overtaken by the Taliban after 20 years. They fear a return to the Taliban's brutal rule and a threat of reprisal killings.

Another Afghanistan citizen who landed here today said that the Taliban had assured them safety, however, they cannot be trusted.

"The situation is dire in Afghanistan. Firing and gunshots were heard everywhere in Kabul and in the surrounding area as well. I am very grateful to India for stepping forward to help us. We were taking shelter at the Gurudwara before boarding the plane," a Sikh evacuee told ANI.

In today's evacuation, the Indian government also brought back an Afghan-based Sikh family in the aircraft with an infant without a passport.

Joyous families were seen celebrating their safe evacuation to India as relief came amid chaos in Afghanistan.

India on Sunday evacuated about 300 people from Kabul after the Taliban seized control of most parts of Afghanistan. The terror group overtook the power throne on August 15 as the Aghanistan government collapsed and President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. (ANI)

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