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Haven't abandoned people of Afghanistan: Indian envoy after safe return

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New Delhi, Aug 17: The Indian envoy to Afghanistan on Tuesday thanked the Indian Air Force for safe evacuation from the war-torn Afghanistan and said the welfare of the Afghan people continues to be an agenda for them.

Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Rudrendra Tandon

"Your welcome has an impact on all of us. Thanks to the Indian Air Force who flew us out under conditions that are not normal," Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Rudrendra Tandon was quoted as saying by ANI.

"It's not that we've abandoned people of Afghanistan, their welfare&our relationship with them is very much in our mind. We'll try and continue our interaction with them, I can't exactly say in what form as situation is changing," he said.

"We are continuously monitoring the situation because there are still some Indian citizens who are there. That is why Air India will continue to run its commercial services to Kabul as long as the airport in Kabul functions," he added.

On evacuation plans, the envoy said, "Temporarily Air India had to suspend its commercial services because of the conditions in the airport. However, we continue to ensure that anyone who is stuck there is somehow brought here for which the MEA has opened a help desk that is operating already."

"There are many others who continue to work in Kabul city, despite the changing situation and have changed their mind subsequently & will be brought back when the commercial services begin," he added.

The IAF transport aircraft landed in India with over 120 people including officials and security personnel from the embassy.

It is the second evacuation flight. On Monday, another C-17 aircraft had evacuated around 40 people including a number of Indian embassy staff from Kabul before the operations at the airport in the city were suspended.

The two military aircraft flew into Kabul using the Iranian airspace while avoiding the route through Pakistani airspace, the people cited above said.

Hours after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled Afghanistan on Sunday, the Taliban took control of Kabul, capturing power nearly 20 years after a US-led military invasion ousted it in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

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