NEW DELHI — Subrahmanyam Jaisankar, India’s Minister for External Affairs, said that including the government, all the political parties have a “strong national position” on developments concerning Afghanistan, and the Centre has approached this current situation in the “spirit of national unity.”
“The message which we all want to give you, all the political parties including the government, is that on this matter, we all have a similar view,” said Jaisankar.
“We have a strong national position in Afghanistan. The friendship with the Afghan people is something that matters to all of us. So we approached this situation in the spirit of national unity.”
He said that most of the issues and concerns during the meeting were on evacuation from the war-ravaged country.
“Under Operation ‘Devi Shakti’, we have done six evacuation flights,” said Jaishankar.
“We have brought back most of the Indians, but not all of them as some of them couldn’t make it for the flight yesterday.”
As many as 565 people, including 112 Afghan nationals, have been evacuated by India from Afghanistan since the Taliban seized control of the war-torn country, Jaisankar said.
The ministry shared details on the recent developments in Afghanistan with floor leaders of various political parties in Parliament, as per sources.
Jaishankar said the government is very strongly committed to ensuring complete evacuation as soon as possible. The meeting went on for three and half hours, and 37 leaders from 31 parties participated.
“Briefed the Floor Leaders of all political parties today on Afghanistan,” tweeted Jaisankar.
“37 leaders from 31 parties attended. Thank them all. There is a longstanding national sentiment on Afghanistan. Therefore there is national concern now at developments. We are gathered with a national spirit.”
In a subsequent tweet, Jaisankar made it clear India had undertaken evacuation operations in extremely difficult conditions, especially at the airport.
“Everybody spoke on the issue; I responded to everyone individually. We all had similar views,” said Jaishankar.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked the Ministry of External Affairs to brief floor leaders of all political parties on the recent developments in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan plunged into crisis after the Taliban entered the presidential palace in the Afghan capital on Aug. 15 and declared its victory over the government after months of violence across the country.
India, on Aug. 17, had also announced that it would issue an emergency e-visa to Afghan nationals who want to come to the country in view of the prevailing situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban captured power there.
Later, Modi had chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security and instructed all concerned officials to undertake all necessary measures to ensure the safe evacuation of Indian nationals from Afghanistan in the coming days.
India also condemned the blasts that happened in the Kabul airport on Aug. 26.
“We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims of this terrorist attack. Our thoughts and prayers also go out to the injured,” said India’s Ministry of External Affairs in a statement.
(With inputs from ANI)
Edited by Saptak Datta and Ritaban Misra
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