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Modi government briefs Opposition on Afghanistan roadmap

With many nations, including Russia and China, progressing towards establishing a dialogue with the next Taliban government in Afghanistan after it seized the country on August 15, the Opposition members wanted to know the government's position on the matter.

Afghan situation: Modi government briefs Opposition VPN
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New Delhi, First Published Aug 26, 2021, 1:37 PM IST
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An all-party meeting was held in the national capital where the Narendra Modi government briefed the Opposition members about the situation in Afghanistan and India's ongoing evacuation operation of its nationals. 

Listing the pre-emptive measures taken by the government, External Affairs Minister said that the government had temporarily withdrawn personnel from consulates in Herat and Jalalabad in April 2020.

Operations in the Indian embassy in Kabul were scaled down in June. More evacuations were conducted on July 10-11 from Kandahar and on August 10-11 from Mazar-e-Sharif.

The government said that a series of advisories were issued on June 29, July 25, August 10 and on August 12 urging Indian nationals to leave immediately amid the discontinuation of commercial airlines.

Also Read: Afghanistan crisis: How Taliban earns over $1.5 billion annually

The government informed the Opposition that India's priorities amid the deepening crisis in the war-torn country were to firstly evacuate Indian nationals and ensuring the safety of the country's diplomatic personnel.

Besides, the government also provided assistance to Afghan nationals in distress and provided safe passage to the deposed government's leadership in pursuance of its 'Neighbourhood First' policy.

The government also said that it was coordinating with international humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan.

With regard to the measures adopted, the government informed the Opposition that a 24x7 Special Afghanistan Cell was established within the MEA and an e-visa system was initiated for Afghan nationals.

With many nations, including Russia and China, progressing towards establishing a dialogue with the next Taliban government in Afghanistan after it seized the country on August 15, the Opposition members were keen on knowing the government's position on the matter.

Sources said that Jaishankar informed the Opposition leaders that the Taliban has not stood by its commitment that was adopted during the Doha Agreement for a peaceful transition of power. 

India adopted a wait and watch policy to the situation unfolding in the war-torn country, sources said.

Also Read: Afghan girl, born on US military plane, named 'Reach', after aircraft's code name

Jaishankar is accompanied by Union Ministers Piyush Goyal, Prahlad Joshi, V Muraleedharan and Arjun Ram Meghwal among others. 

The development comes after the Opposition parties asked the government to come up with a statement on the Afghanistan crisis. 

The attendees include former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary and Anand Sharma, and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, among others.

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