Fact check: Has Taliban taken over the Indian mission in Kandahar
New Delhi, July 12: There has been a lot of action in Afghanistan after the United States began pulling out troops. On Sunday, the Taliban fighters seized several key areas around Kandahar, following which India evacuated several of its diplomats.
The evacuation took place on Saturday, just a few days after India had said that it had no plans to close its mission in Kabul and consulate in Kandahar. Now videos have surfaced suggesting that the Indian consulate in Kandahar has been taken over by the Taliban. However, official sources in Delhi tell OneIndia that the consulate has been temporarily closed only due to the ongoing security situation. The videos being shared on the social media are not right, sources also say.
On Sunday, official sources said that the Indian government has temporarily closed its mission in Kandahar. This is a temporary measure and the 50 diplomats and security personnel have been brought back.
In an interview with DNA, Bahir Ahmadi, spokesman of the Kandahar governor said, "Indian consulate is still open. The procedure which is ongoing is very normal". India has withdrawn its diplomats even as the violence increased as the Taliban made attempts to gain more territories in the country, the official quoted DNA also said.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson, Arinda, Bagchi said that India's response will be calibrated accordingly.
Bagchi said the evolving situation in Afghanistan figured in talks External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had with Iranian leaders in Tehran and both sides expressed concerns over the deteriorating security in that country.
Jaishankar, during a stopover at Tehran on Wednesday on his way to Russia, called on Iranian President-elect Ayatollah Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi and held a meeting with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.
"The two sides exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest. They also discussed the evolving situation in Afghanistan and expressed concerns over the deteriorating security there," he also said.
Former Research and Analysis Wing chief, C D Sahay told OneIndia that the Taliban only wants its backyard to remain under it. What can Pakistan do other than create a propaganda. They can only train more terrorists and try to send them here, Sahay also said while adding that if the Taliban starts to raise the issue of the Durand Line then Pakistan will regret.
Bagchi further said that the closure of the mission is temporary in nature and the visa related work has been shifted to the Indian embassy in Kabul. The Consulate General of India in Kandahar has not been closed. However, due to the intense fighting near Kandahar city, India based personnel have been brought back for the time-being," Bagchi said.
"The Consulate continues to operate through our local staff members. Arrangements are being made to ensure continued delivery of visa and consular services through our Embassy in Kabul," he further added.
Taliban has taken over Indian mission in Kandahar
MEA says that Kandahar mission has been temporarily closed and arrangements are being made to ensure continued delivery of visa and consular services through our Embassy in Kabul.