ith the Taliban closing in on the Afghan capital Kabul, India is closely monitoring the rapidly-changing situation in the war-torn nation amid concerns over the safety and security of the Indian diplomatic staff and other personnel there.
While the Western nations, including the US, are scrambling to pull out their staff from their missions in Kabul, informed sources told UNI on Saturday that the situation in Afghanistan is definitely serious and there are concerns regarding the safety of the diplomatic staff and other Indians in the Afghan capital.
However, officials are not ready to discuss in public any plan that may be in the offing or underway regarding evacuation of Indians from Kabul, citing the security concerns.
The heightened concerns stem from the fact that the Taliban have been making rapid military gains and the militia force is said to be some 50 kms away from Kabul, preparing for an assault on the capital of the country.
Earlier, India evacuated its diplomatic staff and other personnel from Kandahar and Mazar-e-Sharif as the Taliban captured these provinces.
On Thursday, India issued an advisory, appealing to its nationals in Afghanistan to leave the war-hit country.
“We want to request Indian nationals who happen to be in Afghanistan even now to look at ways to come back at the earliest while the commercial flights are still on,” the MEA spokesperson said on Thursday.
The Indian embassy in Kabul had in its advisory also said that three Indian engineers who remained at a dam site that was under Taliban control had to be air rescued. It said the incident highlighted that Indian nationals are “not heeding its advice and continuing to put themselves in mortal danger”.
The Taliban, which has been rapidly capturing territories of Afghanistan, today seized Logar province, just around 50 km south of Kabul.
In the wake of the Taliban advance towards Kabul, the US has sent a Marines contingent, part of the announced 3,000 troops, to the Afghan capital to help evacuate Embassy staff and secure the Kabul airport.
According to reports, US embassy staff were ordered to begin shredding and burning documents so that those do not fall in the hands of the Taliban.
Britain, Germany, Denmark and Spain have all announced the withdrawal of personnel from their respective embassies on Friday.
On Saturday, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said the group has captured the capital of Paktia province.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has warned that the situation in Afghanistan is rapidly “spinning out of control” and asked the Taliban to immediately halt their nationwide offensive.