world
Tuesday Aug 10 2021
By
Reuters

India closes last consulate in Afghanistan and pulls out citizens

By
Reuters
Afghan security forces keep watch at a checkpoint in the Guzara district of Herat province, Afghanistan July 9, 2021. — Reuters/File
Afghan security forces keep watch at a checkpoint in the Guzara district of Herat province, Afghanistan July 9, 2021. — Reuters/File

  • Indian government shut its consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif.
  • India leaves only the embassy in Kabul operational.
  • Taliban have overrun six provincial capitals in recent days.


NEW DELHI: India sent a military plane to northern Afghanistan on Tuesday to pull out its citizens, officials said, as fighting raged between Afghan security forces and the advancing Taliban.

The Indian government shut its consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif, the biggest city in the north, and urged its diplomats and Indian citizens to take the special flight home.

Taliban fighters have overrun six provincial capitals in recent days in the north, west, and south of Afghanistan.

India, which has invested millions of dollars in development projects across Afghanistan, has now closed all its consulates, leaving only the embassy in Kabul operational, a government official said.

India's main opposition Congress party urged the government also to help evacuate Afghanistan's tiny Sikh and Hindu communities, to protect them from any attack by the Taliban.

Congress official Jaiveer Shergill estimated that there were around 750 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus in the country.