With a large number of Indian nationals still stuck in Kabul, their safety and security have become a major concern for the Indian establishment

In view of the fast deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan following its capture by the Taliban, India on Monday said it will take “all steps to ensure the safety and security of Indian nationals and our interests” in the war-ravaged country.

“The Government of India has been closely monitoring all developments in Afghanistan. We have been issuing periodic advisories for the safety and security of Indian nationals in that country, including calling for their immediate return to India,” Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Arindam Bagchi said in response to media queries regarding the situation in Afghanistan.

“We had circulated emergency contact numbers and had also been extending assistance to community members. We are aware that there are still some Indian nationals in Afghanistan who wish to return and we are in touch with them,” he added.

The security situation in Kabul has deteriorated significantly in the last few days.

“It is changing rapidly even as we speak,” Spokesperson of the MEA Arindam Bagchi said

With regard to repatriation of those who wish to leave Afghanistan, he said, “We are in constant touch with the representatives of Afghan Sikh and Hindu communities. We will facilitate repatriation to India of those who wish to leave Afghanistan.”

“There are also a number of Afghans who have been our partners in the promotion of our mutual developmental, educational and people to people endeavours. We will stand by them,” the MEA Spokesperson added.

He also informed that commercial operations from Kabul airport have been suspended on Monday.

“This has forced a pause in our repatriation efforts. We are awaiting the resumption of flights to restart the process,” Bagchi said.

If media reports are to be believed, over 200 Indians, including staff of the External Affairs Ministry and paramilitary soldiers tasked for their protection are yet to be evacuated from Kabul.

The Afghan airspace has been closed to commercial flights after thousands of panic-stricken people overran the tarmac this morning in the hope of getting out of the war-torn country, a day after the Taliban captured the Afghan capital.