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India: Must preserve gains made in last 2 decades in Afghanistan

Amidst the fast-evolving situation in Afghanistan in the backdrop of the Taliban gaining ground, India on Thursday termed the development as a matter of concern and said it was closely monitoring the situation. 

India Must preserve gains made in last 2 decades in Afghanistan-VPN
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New Delhi, First Published Aug 12, 2021, 7:26 PM IST
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Amidst the fast-evolving situation in Afghanistan in the backdrop of the Taliban gaining ground, India on Thursday termed the development as a matter of concern and said it was closely monitoring the situation. 

New Delhi also expressed hope for an immediate ceasefire between the Afghan National Forces and the Taliban. 

"We continue to seek a comprehensive and immediate ceasefire. We are supporting all initiatives of Afghanistan. Our primary concern is peace, stability in that country and offering prosperous future independence and sovereign and democratic country," Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.

"We are committed to Afghanistan's long term development. We would like to see a peaceful, prosperous and democratic Afghanistan. We want the ceasefire. We want to preserve the gains of the last two decades. We hope that everybody comes forward and finds a peace process," he said.

Arms support to Afghanistan 

The spokesperson said India has been supporting Afghanistan on the development aspects. 

"We have been a part of the international community in extending assistance to Afghanistan. We are guided by the strategic agreement that was signed between the two sides in October 2011. I do not have any specific comment on the elements of arms support," Bagchi said.

Indian projects in Afghanistan 

On being asked about safeguarding India's investment in the war-torn country, he said, "It is wrong to term to them as Indian projects. It was done with Indian assistance and support but those projects are of the government and the people of Afghanistan. Once we hand it over to them, we do not claim that those projects are ours. Of course, these are useful and important projects for the development of the people of Afghanistan and certainly, they will not get damaged and continue to benefit them."

Minority and women in Afghanistan 

India is closely monitoring reports about minorities and women facing hardships at the hands of the  Taliban. 

"Our Kabul mission issued an advisory for our nationals earlier this week, advising them to fly back to India via commercial flights. Last year our mission in Kabul had facilitated the return of more than 383 members of the Hindu and Sikh community from Afghanistan to India. Our embassy/mission in Kabul continue in touch with the Afghan Hindu and Sikh community. We will ensure all necessary assistance to them," he said.

Security advisory 

In the last three months, India has issued three advisories, warning its nationals to leave the country immediately in the wake of the deteriorating situation. 

"We issued an advisory for Indian nationals to leave Afghanistan through commercial flights. There is no formal evacuation mechanism. At the Mazar-e-Sharif consulate, we have withdrawn all India-based personnel earlier this week because of the security situation. It is a temporary measure. Our consulate there is continued to operate with local staff," Bagchi said.

Mi-35 helicopter in Taliban hands

The external affairs ministry also clarified on reports that claimed that an Indian Air Force. 

The MEA spokesperson said, "The ground situation in Afghanistan is evolving. That helicopter was not of Indian Air Force. All I can say is that it is Afghanistan’s internal matter and I would not like to comment on that aspect."

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