India is closely monitoring the developments in Afghanistan and has expressed concern over the deteriorating security situation. Briefing media in New Delhi, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said Indian Mission in Kabul issued an advisory for Indian nationals earlier this week advising them to return via commercial flights. He also added that there is no formal evacuation mechanism.
He said last year, Indian Mission in Kabul had facilitated the return of more than 383 members of the Hindu and Sikh community in Afghanistan to India. Mr Bagchi said Indian Embassy and Mission in Kabul continues to remain in touch with Afghan Hindu and Sikh community members. He said India will ensure the provision of all necessary assistance to them. Indian Consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif had withdrawn all India-based personnel earlier this week as a temporary measure. He said Indian Consulate there continues to be operational with locally recruited staff.
On discussions with the Taliban, the spokesperson said New Delhi is in touch with all stakeholders. Replying to another query, Mr Bagchi said India continues to hope that there will be an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire. He said India supports all peace initiatives of Afghanistan and the primary concern is peace and stability in that country.