India tells citizens in Afghanistan to make immediate arrangements for return
India on Tuesday asked its nationals to immediately leave Afghanistan by making arrangements to return home before commercial flight services are discontinued due to an ongoing offensive in the war-torn country by the Taliban, which has announced that it is moving to capture Mazar-i-Sharif city.
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In a security advisory for Indian nationals in Afghanistan, the country's embassy here said that commercial air travel services to many provinces and cities were being discontinued.
The embassy also advised Indian companies operating in Afghanistan to immediately withdraw their Indian employees out of project sites before air travel services get discontinued.
"As violence in many parts of Afghanistan has escalated, commercial air travel services to many provinces and cities are getting discontinued. All Indian nationals visiting, staying and working in Afghanistan are strongly advised to keep themselves updated on the availability of commercial flights from various parts of Afghanistan and make immediate travel arrangements to return to India before commercial air services are discontinued to their place of stay/visit in Afghanistan," the advisory read.
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"Indian companies operating in Afghanistan are strongly advised to immediately withdraw their Indian employees out of project sites in Afghanistan before air travel services get discontinued. Indian nationals working for Afghan or foreign companies in Afghanistan should immediately request their employer to facilitate their travel from project sites to India," it added.
The embassy said it was very essential that all Indian mediapersons arriving and staying in Afghanistan established contact with the public affairs and security wing of the Indian Embassy for a personalised briefing, including specific advice for the location they were travelling to.
The security situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate as the Taliban have intensified their onslaught against Afghan security forces members and civilians amid the drawdown of the US-led foreign forces.
The Indian Consulate General in Mazar-e-Sharif earlier today asked Indian nationals to evacuate from places in and around Mazar-e-Sharif in Balkh province.
"A special flight is leaving from Mazar-e-Sharif to New Delhi. Any Indian nationals in and around Mazar-e-Sharif are requested to leave for India in the special flight scheduled to depart late this evening," the Indian Consulate General in Mazar-e-Sharif said.