‘Indian brothers, sisters came to rescue’: Afghan woman after fleeing Taliban
An Afghan woman on Sunday thanked India for helping her escape the Taliban as she was evacuated from Kabul in a C-17 aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) along with several others. “The situation was deteriorating in Afghanistan, so I came here with my daughter and two grandchildren. Our Indian brothers and sisters came to our rescue. They (Taliban) burnt down my house. I thank India for helping us," the woman said after landing at the Hindon Air Force Station in Ghaziabad, according to news agency ANI.
She was among the 168 people evacuated from Kabul by the IAF as the Indian government continued its efforts to bring back people from the war-torn country overtaken by the Taliban. Around 20 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus also travelled in the flight, which took off from Kabul earlier in the day.
Tens of thousands of Afghans are trying to flee the country after the Taliban seized control on August 15 even as the United States warned of security threats at Kabul's chaotic airport. Reuters reported citing witnesses that the Taliban are ensuring that people formed orderly queues outside the main gates of the airport and not allowing crowds to gather at the perimeter. The witnesses told Reuters that there was no violence or confusion at the airport but there were long lines forming.
Several videos on social media have shown Afghan families crowding, people hanging onto departing planes and even lifting a baby over a wall at the airport as more jostled pleading with American and British soldiers manning the area to help them.
Also watch: Indians on evacuation flight shout 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai'
The Taliban have assured that they will bring in a softer version of their brutal rule from 1996-2001 and will take steps towards forming a government. However, terrified Afghans have been hoping against hope to escape the hardline Islamist group since they took back power in Afghanistan. Some of them fear reprisals and others say the Taliban will enforce the rules under Islamic law, which included a ban on women stepping out of their homes without a male relative and a prohibition on girls.
Meanwhile, more Indians were brought out of Kabul in two more flights earlier on Sunday. They included a special Air India flight with 87 Indians, who were first taken to Tajikistan’s capital of Dushanbe from Kabul on a transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Saturday.
Another 135 Indians, who were evacuated from Kabul to Doha in the last few days, were also brought back home. These Indians evacuated to Doha by US and Nato aircraft from Kabul worked with foreign companies operating in Afghanistan.