India prepares contingency plan as situation in Afghanistan deteriorates

New Delhi: India has prepared a contingency plan to bring back its officials and citizens as the situation deteriorates in Afghanistan. India has its mission in Kabul, with many consulates spread over the country. A source said, ‘We are working on’ any plans to bring back Indian nationals but explained that ‘decision will depend upon security situation’, highlighting, ‘Safety and security of our officials is most important’.

Last week, the American troops left the Bagram airfield, a symbol of US Presence in the country. The situation has been tensed in many parts of the country as the Taliban seems to be making rapid advances in a situation that has an eerie resemblance of the 1990s.

While the contingency plan has been ready, it does not change India’s commitment to Afghanistan. India has been one of the largest donors to the country in the region and has been involved in mega infrastructure projects like the Afghan Parliament, the India Afghanistan friendship dam.

There are many Indians in the country, most of them engaged as professionals in Banks, IT firms, construction companies, hospitals, NGOs, Govt. of India-sponsored projects, Govt. of Afghanistan, and UN Missions. The Indian Mission interacts closely with members of the Indian Diaspora, assisting wherever required.

India has issued 2 security advisories for its nationals in the country this year. One in April, one just last month on 29th June. The June advisory is a significant 13-point advisory under which Indians have been “advised to exercise utmost vigilance and caution with regard to security at the workplace, place of residence and also during movement to their places of work.”

The advisory asked, Indian nationals to ‘avoid all types of nonessential movements’ and Indian companies to ‘take up necessary security measures in respect of their Indian employees deployed at project sites.’

There have been instances of Indians being abducted in Afghanistan. The recent being the 2018 abduction of seven Indian engineers northern Baghlan province.

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