Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday chaired a Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) at the PMO to discuss the details emerging out of Afghanistan, after Taliban took over the war-torn country. The meeting was attended by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The External Affairs Minister is out of the country and hence did not attend the meeting, sources said.
The prime minister has been in constant touch with officials regarding the ongoing situation. He was taking stock of situation till late night yesterday and was updated when the flight took off, sources told India TV. He instructed that adequate arrangements be made to ensure providing food for all those who returned at Jamnagar.
The meeting was also attended by various senior officials including Principal Secretary to PM Dr. P. K. Mishra, NSA Ajit Doval, and Cabinet Secretary Rajeev Gauba.
It is understood that Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and Ambassador Rudrendra Tandon were also present at the meeting. Ambassador Tandon was on the evacuation flight from Kabul that landed in Jamnagar earlier Tuesday.
According to sources, the Cabinet Committee on Security was briefed in detail on the current and evolving security and political situation in Afghanistan. The CCS was also briefed on the recent evacuations of Indian Embassy officials and some members of the Indian community, as well as some members of Indian media.
The prime minister instructed all concerned officials to undertake all necessary measures to ensure safe evacuation of Indian nationals from Afghanistan in the coming days, sources said.
According to a senior official privy to the proceedings, the prime ,inister said that “India must not only protect our citizens, but we must also provide refuge to those Sikh and Hindu minorities who want to come to India, and we must also provide all possible help to our Afghan brothers and sisters who are looking towards India for assistance”.
The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan just two weeks before the US was set to complete its troop withdrawal after a costly two-decade war. The insurgents stormed across the country, capturing all major cities in a matter of days, as Afghan security forces trained and equipped by the U.S.and its allies melted away.
Meanwhile, India on Tuesday rushed back home its ambassador and staff from the embassy in Kabul in a military transport aircraft in the wake of escalating tension, fear and uncertainty gripping the Afghan capital after its take over by the Taliban two days back. The C-17 Globemaster aircraft of the Indian Air Force carrying around 150 people, including diplomats, officials, security personnel and some stranded Indians, landed at the Hindon airbase near the national capital at around 5 PM after a brief halt at Jamnagar in Gujarat.
It is the second evacuation flight as another C-17 aircraft brought back around 40 people from the Hamid Karzai International (HKI) Airport in Kabul on Monday as part of India's emergency evacuation mission that was carried out following coordination with relevant authorities including US officials handling security at the airport in the Afghan capital.