Indian government launched "Operation Devi Shakti" in August that facilitated the evacuation of 565 stranded people from Afghanistan.
New Delhi: Some Indians who 'desired to be evacuated' from Afghanistan still remain stranded, officials said here and maintained that the Special Afghanistan Cell is in touch with these Indians and the Afghan Hindu-Sikh minority community members.
Sources also say that the Government of India operated several special Indian Air Force and Air India flights under "Operation Devi Shakti" to evacuate stranded Indian and Afghan nationals from Afghanistan between August 16 and 25.
Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan informed Rajya Sabha last week that given the rapid deterioration in the security situation in Afghanistan, especially after August 15, 2021, a 24 x 7 Special Afghanistan Cell was set up in the Ministry of External Affairs.
The Cell was set up to facilitate repatriation and other requests from Afghanistan. In August alone, the Special Afghanistan Cell responded to 3,436 telephone calls, 9,581 WhatsApp messages and 4,569 emails. As a result, 565 stranded people were evacuated under the "Operation Devi Shakti", the Minister said.
The sources also say that 74 members of the minority community from Afghanistan, primarily Afghan Sikhs, were evacuated on board the special Indian Air Force/Air India flights arranged by the Government of India under the "Operation Devi Shakti".
It has been asserted that the Indian Embassy and Consulates in Afghanistan have always maintained regular contact with the members of the Afghan Hindu-Sikh minority community, which looked after the various Gurudwaras and Hindu temples in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, the government also says that as a contiguous neighbour and long-standing partner of Afghanistan, India is concerned about recent developments in Afghanistan.
India remains engaged with the international community and regional partners in Afghanistan.
In this regard, Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in the SCO-CSTO Summit and the G-20 Extraordinary Summit on Afghanistan. External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar also participated in the Afghanistan Conference co-convened by USA and Germany and the UN High-Level Meeting on the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.
India has supported the pivotal role of the UN in Afghanistan. Under India's Presidency, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 2593, which demanded that Afghan territory not be used to threaten or attack any country, shelter or train terrorists, plan and finance terrorist acts.
India is firm that its special relationship with the Afghan people, and the UNSC Resolution 2593, would continue to guide India's approach to Afghanistan.
India has committed to providing 50,000 MT of wheat and life-saving drugs to the Afghan people as humanitarian assistance in this endeavour. Soon after the fall of Kabul, the Government of India operated several special Indian Air Force and Air India flights from August 16 to 25 under "Operation Devi Shakti" to evacuate 565 stranded Indian Afghan nationals from Afghanistan.