Afghanistan situation critical, evacuating Indian personnel top priority: Govt at all-party meet
New Delhi, Aug 26: The Centre has described the situation in the war-torn Afghanistan as "critical" and said that evacuating Indian personnel from Afghanistan is a top priority for the government.
At the all-party meet, convened to brief on the Afghan situation. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar briefed the leaders on the latest situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban captured power there last week.
"We briefed the Floor Leaders of all political parties today on the Afghanistan situation today. Our focus is on evacuation and the government is doing everything to evacuate people," said EAM Dr. S Jaishankar.
Briefed the Floor Leaders of all political parties today on Afghanistan.37 leaders from 31 parties attended. Thank them all.— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) August 26, 2021
There is longstanding national sentiment on Afghanistan. Therefore there is national concern now at developments.We are gathered with a national spirit.
Union minister and Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha Piyush Goyal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi were also present in the meeting.
Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Adhir Chowdhury, TMC's Saugata Roy and Sukhendu Sekher Roy, Satish Mishra from BSP, former defence minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Professor Ram Gopal Yadav from Samajwadi Party, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, CPI MP Binoy Viswam expected to attend the meeting.
India was trying to evacuate as many people as possible from Afghanistan, the minister said and asserted that evacuating Indian personnel was a "top priority", according to some of the participants at the meeting.
The Taliban swept across Afghanistan this month following the withdrawal of the US forces from the country.
As part of its evacuation mission from Afghanistan, India has already brought back more than 800 people including members of the Afghan Sikh and Hindu communities.
The government also described the situation in the war-torn country as "critical" and said the Taliban has broken the promises made in the Doha agreement. Among other things, the Doha pact, inked between the Taliban leaders and the US in February 2020, envisaged religious freedom and democracy, with a government in Kabul that represented all sections of Afghan society.
Meanwhile, India is expected to bring back around 180 people from Kabul in a military aircraft today amid a scramble by various countries to evacuate their citizens before the August 31 deadline for the withdrawal of American troops from the war-ravaged country.