New Delhi: A special repatriation flight by the Indian Air Force - carrying 168 passengers, including 107 Indians - landed this morning at the Hindon air base near Delhi from Kabul. There were two Afghan senators and 24 Afghan sikhs among the evacuees.
They will be moved to the Bangla Sahib Gurdwara next. Many of the evacuees are from a Gurdwara in Kabul, where they have been staying for days.
"I feel like crying…Everything that was built in the last 20 years is now finished. It's zero now," a visibly emotional Afghanistan's senator Narender Singh Khalsa told news agency ANI upon landing in Delhi.
Also, three other flights - Air India, IndiGo and Vistara - carrying Indians evacuated from Kabul landed in Delhi from Tajikistan's capital Dushanbe and Qatar's Doha this morning.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi posted pictures of the evacuation efforts on Twitter.
In a string of tweets earlier, the External Affairs Ministry spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi, posted details of the evacuation efforts. He also posted a short video clip where the evacuees can be seen chanting "Bharat Mata Ki Jai".
Sources said on Saturday morning the government is trying to bring as many Indians as possible into the airport at Kabul to keep them safe while it works out the evacuation logistics.
India has evacuated all embassy staff but an estimated 1,000 citizens remain in several Afghan cities and ascertaining their location and condition is proving to be a challenge, the Home Ministry has said.
The Taliban took control of Afghanistan Sunday, after President Ashraf Ghani fled and the group walked into Kabul with no opposition. This was after a staggeringly fast rout of major cities, after two decades of war that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.
Here are the LIVE Updates on Afghanistan-Taliban crisis:
Aug 22, 2021 20:18 (IST)
"Accept Taliban, Do Not Support Them": Former Afghan President's Brother
Hashmat Ghani, the brother of former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, told NDTV on Sunday that he had "accepted" the Taliban to avoid instability, and that he had chosen to stay in the country to help in the transition period, but had not offered the group his "support".
Mr Ghani told NDTV that these were "very different things" and that his acceptance was to spare his country further political and economic problems - which he said had been underlined by the "devastating" departure of business leaders - following the Taliban taking control.