Jaishankar speaks to Blinken, gets US support for evacuation

External affairs minister S Jaishankar will meet UN secretary general and UN Security Council members later today to evolve a broader consensus on Afghanistan after the Taliban seized the country.
Jaishankar will today speak to UNSC members to evolve a broader consensus on the Afghanistan issue. (AP File Photo)
Jaishankar will today speak to UNSC members to evolve a broader consensus on the Afghanistan issue. (AP File Photo)
Updated on Aug 17, 2021 08:20 AM IST
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ByShishir Gupta, New Delhi

External affairs minister S Jaishankar spoke to US secretary of state Antony Blinken from New York today to seek American assistance in getting Indians evacuated from Kabul. After Turkey backed off from manning the Hamid Karzai International Airport, the airport is being technically manned by the US forces with air traffic control and perimeter under American security cover.

While India is all set to evacuate the second batch of its nationals from Kabul, the US secretary of state assured Jaishankar of full support in future evacuations through civilian flights. Jaishankar will today speak to UNSC members to evolve a broader consensus on the Afghanistan issue as well as meet UN secretary general Antonio Guterres later in the day on the same burning issue. The Indian EAM will be chairing UNSC sessions on terrorism and peacekeeping for two days.

Also read | India sets up Afghanistan cell to coordinate repatriation amid chaos in Kabul

Given the chaos in Kabul, EAM Jaishankar is working with the Americans to get the HKI airport ready to receive civilian flights so that Indians and Afghan friends with traditional links are evacuated from the strife-torn nation. “ Our priorities are Indians working in Afghanistan, Indians who went to Afghanistan despite our advisory, Indians who were employed by US and European contractors to work in Afghanistan, the civilian population of Indian origin and Afghan friends with traditional links with our country …. E-visas will be issued to those who don’t have documents to travel on application,” said an official.

Also read | Kabul's situation better under Taliban than it was under Ghani: Russia

The situation in Kabul continues to be precarious with Taliban fighters under no visible chain of command and various sundry terror outfits setting up security check posts to demand protection money. “It is free for all in Kabul with power flowing from the barrel of the gun,” said another official.

It is understood that Indian officials have managed to get the second batch of evacuees to the HKI airport post-midnight and are waiting to leave for India from Afghanistan.

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Saturday, November 27, 2021