Kerala seeks MEA intervention to bring back people from state stranded in Kabul

Written by Shaju Philip
| Thiruvananthapuram |

Updated: August 17, 2021 5:03:58 pm

IAFA special Indian Air Force aircraft evacuated members of the Indian Embassy in Kabul, along with about 20 Indian nationals who were stranded in Afghanistan, and landed in Jamnagar on Tuesday (Express photo)

The Kerala government on Tuesday sought the intervention of the Ministry of External Affairs to bring back at least 36 people from the state who are stranded in Kabul.

The Department of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (NORKA), at the behest of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, sent a letter to the MEA, urging that the Keralites be brought back immediately.

NORKA sources said those stranded persons have been associated with private firms in Kabul or with local offices of international organisations.

“One of them, who is working for a US-based firm, made a distress call to NORKA on Monday, pleading for help for safe return. Later, we came to know that there are 36 Keralites stranded in Kabul. All of them are safe and we are in touch with them as well as the officials of the External Affairs Ministry,’’ the sources added.

Earlier on Tuesday, India evacuated its entire embassy in Kabul and IAF plane from Afghanistan, with 130 diplomats and around 20 Indian citizens, landed at Jamnagar airbase.

The Ministry of External Affairs had said on Monday that it was monitoring the situation “on a constant basis at high levels” and is “in constant touch with the representatives of Afghan Sikh and Hindu communities”.

“The Government will take all steps to ensure the safety and security of Indian nationals and our interests in Afghanistan. We are aware that there are still some Indian nationals in Afghanistan who wish to return, and we are in touch with them… We will facilitate repatriation to India of those who wish to leave Afghanistan,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said in a statement.

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