Ajit Doval, Jake Sullivan discuss Afghan stabilisation
India's efforts to evacuate its citizens from Kabul involved discussions between National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and his US counterpart Jake Sullivan in detail on Monday evening. After Turkey backed off from manning the Hamid Karzai International (HKI) Airport, the airport is being technically manned by the US forces with air traffic control and perimeter under American security cover.
Both the NSAs have established a direct hotline, where they keep discussing about the prevailing situation in Afghanistan. After the conversation between Doval and Sullivan, the Indian contingent was taken inside the American security zone at the airport from where they took off on Tuesday morning.
External affairs minister S Jaishankar also pitched in, speaking to US secretary of state Antony Blinken.
The American assistance was sought to safely take the Indian embassy staff to HKI to due blockades put up in the way by the Taliban fighters. According to sources, the Indian convoy had to cross as many as 15 blockades on their way to the airport. The 120 diplomats and officials arrived in India on Tuesday onboard an Indian Air Force C-17 heavy-lift aircraft.
India is looking forward to the resumption of civilian flights to evacuate its citizens stranded in the war-torn country. Blinken assured Jaishankar of full support in this regard.
India is worried about the weapons left by the US troops in the wake of their withdrawal from Afghanistan. There are sniper rifles, shoulder-launched drones, body armour suits, assault rifles, humvees, strike vehicles and anti-IED vehicles, which have already been taken to Pakistan, according to sources. There are concerns that these weapons will be used against India.
The Taliban entered Kabul on Sunday and took control of the presidential palace. Soon after the terror group claimed control over the Afghan capital, several countries evacuated their diplomatic personnel from the country, and hundreds of people flocked to the Kabul airport in an attempt to leave Afghanistan.