The government has evacuated around 50 diplomatic staff from the Indian consulate in Kandahar, Afghanisation. The decision to evacuate diplomats from Kandahar comes amidst increasing violence by the Taliban after the US decided to withdraw its troops.
India's move to temporarily shut the consulate in Kandahar came in view of Taliban fighters rapidly seizing control of a number of key areas in the region as well as in western Afghanistan triggering huge security concerns.
The staff returned on Saturday (July 10) via an Indian Air Force flight. The Kandahar consulate is now being run by the local staff. The Indian diplomats continue to serve in the embassy in Kabul.
The MEA added that due to intense fighting in Kandahar, Indian personnel have been brought back for the time being. This is a temporary measure untile the situation stabilises. Arrangements are being made to continue the delivery of visa and consular services through our embassy in Kabul.
Two days back, the Ministry of External said India was carefully monitoring the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and its implications on the safety and security of Indian nationals.
"Our response will be calibrated accordingly," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said at a media briefing on Thursday.
The Taliban claimed on Friday (July 9) that they now control 85 percent of Afghanistan's territory amid a surge in wins on the ground and as American troops complete their pullout from the war-battered country.
The announcement came at a press conference at the end of a visit by a senior Taliban delegation to Moscow this week a trip meant to offer assurances that the insurgents' quick gains in Afghanistan do not threaten Russia or its allies in Central Asia.
The claim, which is impossible to verify, was considerably higher than previous Taliban statements that more than a third of the country's 421 districts and district centers were in their control. There was no immediate response from the government in Kabul on the latest claim.
With inputs from wires
First Published: IST