17 Aug 2021: Taliban 'assures safety' of stranded Hindus, Sikhs in Afghanistan
After seizing power in Afghanistan, the Taliban has apparently assured the safety of the Hindus and Sikhs stranded in the country. The Taliban's representatives met with the Sikh and Hindu leaders of Kabul, urging them not to fear them or leave the country, Shiromani Akali Dal spokesperson Manjinder Singh Sirsa said. Over 300 Hindus and Sikhs are taking shelter at Kabul's Karte Parwan Gurudwara.
Report: Sign of relief after Taliban's assurance: Report
Many Hindus and Sikhs who have been living in Afghanistan now fear chaos is imminent as the Taliban overthrew the Afghanistan government on Sunday. However, after the Taliban's assurance, there is a sign of relief among community members, an Afghan Sikh told The Times of India. The Taliban has reportedly asked them to raise white flags to avoid misunderstanding.
Fact: 'We are not scared of Taliban, we fear war'
"For almost six years we lived under their regime and we were not scared of the Taliban then. We are not scared of them even now. We only fear war and pillaging. For now, there is a sigh of relief," the Afghan Sikh told TOI.
MEA: In touch with Hindus, Sikhs in Kabul: Foreign Minister
Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had said that India is monitoring the situation in Kabul. He also said that India is in "constant touch with the representatives of Afghan, Sikh, and Hindu communities" and "will facilitate repatriation to India of those who wish to leave Afghanistan." "Airport operations are the main challenge. Discussions on with partners in that regard," he further said.
Recent news: India evacuates its staff from Kabul embassy
Notably, a special Indian Air Force aircraft on Tuesday evacuated 130 diplomats and around 20 Indians stranded in Afghanistan. India's Home Ministry also announced a new category of electronic visa called "e-Emergency X-Misc Visa" to fast-track applications of Afghans who want to come to India. The MEA has set up a Special Afghanistan Cell to coordinate repatriation and other requests from Afghanistan.
Development: Civilians killed amid chaos at Kabul airport
As the Taliban captured power in Afghanistan, chaotic scenes unfolded at Kabul International airport. At least 10 people reportedly died in the chaos as Afghans rushed to the airport to flee the Taliban's rule. In a horrific video from Kabul's airport, two people were seen falling from a plane that was mid-air. Desperate Afghans were seen clinging to the plane as it took off.
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