India has started evacuating its staff from its consulate in Afghanistan’s Mazar-e-Sharif in view of the deteriorating situation in the country following the violence by the Taliban, news agency PTI reported.
A special flight is set to leave Mazar-e-Sharif for New Delhi on Tuesday evening to evacuate Indians in the wake of the violence by the Taliban around the capital city of Balkh province.
“A special flight is leaving from Mazar-e-Sharif to New Delhi. Any Indian nationals in and around Mazar-e-Sharif are requested to leave for India in the special flight scheduled to depart late today evening,” the Indian consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif tweeted.
It also asked Indian citizens who want to leave by the special flight to submit the details like their full name and passport number to the consulate immediately. “Indian citizens desiring to leave by special flight should immediately convey their full name, passport number, date of expiry by whatsapp at the following numbers: 0785891303, 0785891301,” it added.
Last month, India had pulled out around 50 diplomats and security personned from its consulate in Kandahar following intense clashes between Afghan forces and the Taliban around the city.
A special aircraft of the Indian Air Force was sent to bring back the Indian diplomats, officials, and other staff members including a group of Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel.
Since the United States began withdrawing its troops from the country on May 1, the Taliban has been making rapid advances across Afghanistan by resorting to widespread violence. The US has already pulled back the majority of its forces and is looking to complete the drawdown by August 31.
According to government data, around 1,500 Indians are currently staying in Afghanistan.
Last week, the Ministry of External Affairs told the Lok Sabha that India remained vigilant and was taking all necessary measures to ensure the safety and security of Indians in the conflict-ridden country. ( PTI )