Afghanistan Taliban Crisis August 17 Highlights: Afghan VP declares himself ‘caretaker’ president; India completes evacuation of Kabul mission staff

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Updated: August 18, 2021 9:41:35 am

Afghanistan News Live Updates, Afghanistan Taliban Crisis August 17 Highlights: ‘Maintain discipline’ - Taliban issues fresh orders for its fighters in Kabul; India exploring options to hire charter planes to evacuate more Indians; Germany halts development aid to Afghanistan

Afghanistan Kabul News Today Live, Afghanistan Taliban Conflict Live(Left) Evacuees crowd the interior of a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft, carrying some 640 Afghans to Qatar from Kabul; (Right) US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the crisis in Afghanistan during a speech in the East Room at the White House in Washington. (Reuters Photo)

Taliban Afghanistan Crisis August 17 Highlights: India has finally shut down its embassy in Kabul. The news has been confirmed by the Ministry of External Affairs of Twitter. FE Online has been told by the sources that apart from diplomats, two Indian journalists are also aboard that flight. An Indian Air Force C-17 aircraft took its second flight on Tuesday morning to bring back the Embassy staff. After a prolonged silence, India on Monday night issued an official statement, in which it primarily spoke about evacuation. There was no mention of the Taliban. The special focus was on Afghan Hindus and Sikhs. Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden has defended his decision to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan. Though he did admit that the fall of the Afghan government was swifter than what his administration had anticipated, Biden still maintained that leaving Afghanistan was the right thing to do.

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    22:18 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: India completes 'complicated' evacuation of Kabul mission staff: focus now to bring back Indians

    Two days after Kabul fell to the Taliban, India on Tuesday completed the evacuation of all its diplomats and other staff members from the Afghan capital under a "difficult and complicated" exercise, effectively closing its mission for the second time since 1996 when the militant group captured power. The mission to evacuate close to 200 people including the Indian envoy and other staffers in two military aircraft was accomplished with support from the US, a day after the Kabul airport witnessed unprecedented scenes of desperate residents rushing into it in an attempt to flee the country fearing the Taliban's brutality. While the first C-17 heavy-lift transport aircraft of the IAF evacuated over 40 staffers on Monday, the second one brought back around 150 people including the ambassador, other diplomats, security officials and a number of journalists and stranded Indians on Tuesday afternoon. "Movement of the Indian Ambassador and the Embassy staff from Kabul to India was a difficult and complicated exercise. Thank all those whose cooperation and facilitation made it possible," External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar tweeted from New York soon after the second aircraft landed in Hindon near Delhi. While Jaishankar spoke to his American counterpart Antony Blinken, NSA Ajit Doval had a conversation with President Joe Biden's National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on Monday evening on the evacuation mission, people familiar with the matter said. In another tweet, Jaishankar thanked his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian for evacuating 21 Indian nationals from Kabul to Paris. It is learnt that the second aircraft was parked at an airbase in Tajikistan on Monday in view of the chaos in Kabul airport and it flew into the Afghan capital this morning to pick up the Indians. (PTI)

    22:04 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: PM Modi chairs high-level meet on Afghan situation; directs refuge to Sikh, Hindus wanting to come to India

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday directed officials to ensure safe evacuation of all Indian citizens from Afghanistan and to provide refuge to Sikhs and Hindus wanting to come to India from there, as he chaired a crucial high-level meeting in the backdrop of the Taliban takeover of the war-torn country, sources said. Chairing a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security, Modi also said India must provide all possible help to its Afghan brothers and sisters who are looking towards India for assistance, official sources said. Modi directed officials concerned to undertake all necessary measures to ensure safe evacuation of Indian nationals from Afghanistan in the coming days. The Cabinet Committee on Security is the apex government body that deals with the issues of national security.  (PTI)

    21:35 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul is open now; flights are able to land and depart, says White House official

    Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan is open, & flights are able to land & depart, including on the civilian side. As of this morning, there are 3,500 troops on the ground at the airport: White House official (ANI)

    21:22 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: US in touch with Taliban on Kabul evacuations

    The Defence Department says US military commanders at the Kabul airport are in touch with Taliban leaders as they coordinate the evacuation effort of US citizens and Afghan allies. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters at a briefing on Tuesday that necessary interactions with Taliban leaders will continue as the US evacuates people. He said there have been no new hostile encounters with Taliban fighters at the airport. Asked whether US commanders had an agreement with the Taliban for safe passage to the airport of Afghan allies and others awaiting evacuation, Kirby said, "There are interactions at the airport, by our commanders, with the Taliban leaders" outside the airport. (AP)

    21:22 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: Taliban to honor women's right within Islamic law

    A Taliban spokesman has pledged to honor women's rights, but within the norms of Islamic law. Zabihullah Mujahid made the comment Tuesday at his first news conference. For years, he had been a shadowy figure issuing statements on behalf of the militants. His assertion that the Taliban would protect women's rights comes after the Taliban's earlier rule saw women's lives and rights severely restricted. Mujahid also said the Taliban wanted private media to "remain independent," but stressed journalists "should not work against national values." Mujahid also stressed that Afghanistan would not allow itself to harbor anyone targeting other nations. That was a key demand in a deal the militants struck with the Trump administration in 2020 that led to the ultimate US withdraw under current President Joe Biden. He promised the insurgents would secure Afghanistan after they took over the country following a blitz that lasted over a week. (AP)

    21:20 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: Russian ambassador talks to Taliban in Kabul

    The Russian ambassador to Afghanistan said he had a "constructive" and "positive" meeting with Taliban representatives in Kabul to discuss security for the Russian diplomatic mission. Tuesday's meeting was announced the day before by the Kremlin envoy on Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, who also said the Taliban has already started guarding the outside perimeter of the Russian embassy. Ambassador Dmitry Zhirnov told Russian state TV Tuesday that the meeting was "dedicated exclusively to the security of the embassy" and involved "senior Taliban representatives in the city who were accepting the surrender of the remnants of the self-disbanded Afghan national security forces". (AP)

    21:09 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: In touch with Sikhs taking shelter in gurudwara near Kabul, they'll be brought to India soon, says Puri

    Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday said the Indian authorities are in touch with a group of Sikhs taking shelter in a gurudwara near Kabul in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover of the country, and that they will be brought to India as soon as possible. Puri who was approached by BJP MP Hans Raj Hans for help to the Sikhs also discussed the issue with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. "We have been in touch with the Sikh leaders and those in Afghanistan. They will be brought back safely as soon as possible," Puri told PTI. Hans who hails from Punjab said that around 250 Sikhs of Indian origin are taking shelter in the gurudwara near Kabul and they are safe. (PTI)

    20:38 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: Taliban deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar returns to Afghanistan

    Taliban deputy leader and co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar returns to Afghanistan: AFP quoting Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid (ANI)

    20:18 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: Lufthansa plans three flights to bring evacuees from Afghanistan to Germany

    Lufthansa said it was organising three special flights to bring evacuees from Afghanistan to Frankfurt, with the first passenger jet, an Airbus A340, to take off from Tashkent later on Tuesday. Two further flights to Frankfurt, from Tashkent and Doha, are planned for Wednesday, a spokesperson for the German airline said. U.S. forces have secured Kabul airport and started an airlift to fly out diplomats and civilians after the fall of the Afghan capital to the Taliban.  (Reuters)

    20:16 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: Afghan First Vice President Amrullah Saleh declares himself 'caretaker' president

    Afghan First Vice President Amrullah Saleh said on Tuesday he was in Afghanistan and the "legitimate caretaker president" after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country as Taliban insurgents took the capital Kabul. Saleh told a security meeting chaired by Ghani last week that he was proud of the armed forces and the government would do all it could to strengthen resistance to the Taliban.But the country fell to the Taliban in days, rather than the months foreseen by U.S. intelligence.In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Saleh said that it was "futile" to argue with U.S. President Joe Biden, who has decided to pull out U.S. forces. He called on Afghans to show that Afghanistan "isn't Vietnam & the Talibs aren't even remotely like Vietcong". A video of desperate Afghans trying to clamber on to a U.S. military plane as it was about to take off bore evoked a photograph in 1975 of people trying to get on a helicopter on a roof in Saigon during the withdrawal from Vietnam. (Reuters)

    19:59 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: 99 commandos, 3 sniffer dogs land as entire ITBP detachment returns from Afghanistan

    A contingent of 99 ITBP commandos along with three sniffer dogs landed at the Hindon IAF base on Tuesday onboard a military evacuation flight from Taliban-captured Afghanistan, officials said. The commandos also brought back their personal weapons and belongings and will now undergo a week-long COVID-19 quarantine at a Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) facility in Delhi, they said. "With this, our complete contingent deployed for securing the Embassy in Kabul, its four consulates in Afghanistan and diplomats have returned. The commandos came along with the Embassy staffers along with other Indian nationals," ITBP spokesperson Vivek Kumar Pandey said. The commandos were taken away in brown-coloured ITBP buses from the Hindon airbase to the quarantine facility. (PTI)

    19:40 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: 'Situation is bad in Afghanistan'

    19:10 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    PM Modi chairs meeting of Cabinet Committee on Security in backdrop of Afghanistan situation

    19:02 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: Afghans, stranded Pakistanis enters Pak from Afghanistan via key border crossing of Chaman

    Hundreds of Pakistanis and Afghan nationals crossed into Pakistan from the key border crossing of Chaman in southwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, witnesses and officials said. However, they said that among these people were two suspected militants recently freed from the Pul-e-Charkhi and Bagram prisons by the Afghan Taliban. It was unclear on what charges the two had been held by the Afghanistan government. No government official was immediately available for comment, but authorities have said they are allowing in all Pakistanis and Afghans who were stranded in Afghanistan. One such suspected militant, Abdul Qadoos, told The Associated Press that he spent six years at Pul-e-Charkhi Prison until the Taliban let them go after capturing the facility. He refused to share any other details and only said that he was freed by the Taliban. (AP)

    18:55 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: NATO calls on Taliban to allow departure of all who want to leave

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called on the Taliban on Tuesday to facilitate the departure of all those who want to leave Afghanistan, and said the Western defence alliance has agreed to send additional evacuation planes to Kabul. (Reuters)

    18:39 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: Evacuation of embassy personnel from Kabul to India completed: MEA

    18:37 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: Russia says no rush to recognise Taliban, calls for inclusive government

    Russia is in no hurry to recognise the Taliban as legitimate authorities in Afghanistan, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday, calling for an inclusive government to be set up involving all Afghan ethnic groups."... We see encouraging signs from the Taliban who say they would like to have a government that includes other political forces," Lavrov told reporters. "But it would be premature to say that we are going to start making some political steps unilaterally." Lavrov urged all ethnic groups in Afghanistan to convene for  talks on the country's future after the withdrawal of U.S. States-led forces led to the fall of its previous government. (Reuters)

    18:05 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: Govt doing everything for total evacuation of Indians, says Union Minister Pralhad Joshi

    Union Minister for Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi on Tuesday said the Government is doing everything for total evacuation of Indian citizens stuck in Afghanistan after the Taliban asserted control over the nation. "Developments in Afghanistan are quite worrisome. The Indian government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Foreign Minister S Jaishankar will strive to bring the last Indian citizen stuck there," Joshi told reporters here. He added that the government is trying to bring the remaining Indian citizens stuck there. "The entire system has collapsed there (in Afghanistan). Flight services are hit and aeroplanes are not flying. Not only airport but also the air space is jammed. In this scenario, the Indian government is doing whatever best it can do. We are very concerned about individual citizens," Joshi said. Stating that the government of India is closely monitoring the developments, Joshi said the Government led by Modi is capable of handling all kinds of situations. (PTI)

    18:02 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: All efforts should be made to ensure safety, dignity of children, women in Afghanistan: Satyarthi

    Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi Tuesday said every possible effort should be made to ensure the safety and dignity of children and women in Afghanistan and all parties concerned, in and outside the war-torn country, must prioritise the well-being and future of children in the process of stability and peace. Afghanistan stares at an uncertain future as President Ashraf Ghani left the country just before Kabul fell to the Taliban on Sunday. There were no major reports of abuses or fighting, but many residents stayed home and remained fearful after the insurgents' advance saw prisons emptied and armories looted. (PTI)

    18:00 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: India exploring options to hire charter planes to evacuate more Indians from Afghanistan

    • India is also exploring options to hire charter planes to evacuate more Indians from Afghanistan: Sources
    • For evacuations, India parked its C-17 at Ayni Air Base in Tajikistan as there was a huge rush at Kabul airport in Afghanistan. So Indian aircraft were on standby at Ayni Air Base and they flew to Kabul when cleared by the US which is controlling Kabul Airport: Sources (ANI)

    17:53 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: Indian Embassy in Kabul is not closed, local staff is providing consular services

    The Indian Embassy in #Afghanistan's Kabul is not closed, local staff is providing consular services. More than 1,650 people have applied for their return to India: Government Sources (ANI)

    17:50 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: Over 600 Afghans cram into U.S. cargo plane in desperate flight from Kabul

    More than 600 Afghan men, women and children, crouching and crammed up against each other on the floor of a U.S. military plane, left Kabul after the city was seized by Taliban insurgents. A photograph showing the Afghan civilians - some clutching luggage, others bottle-feeding infants - on the C-17 cargo aircraft has gone viral on social media.A U.S. official told Reuters about 640 people clambered onto the flight from Kabul on Sunday, when thousands of people desperate to flee the country surged to the airport in the Afghan capital. "The unusually high number of passengers was the result of a dynamic security environment that necessitated quick decision making by the crew which ultimately ensured these passengers were quickly taken outside the country," the official said. (Reuters)

    17:45 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: Have not abandoned people of Afghanistan, says Indian Ambassador

    Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Rudrendra Tandon on Tuesday asserted India has not abandoned the people of the war-ravaged country with whom New Delhi forged longstanding ties and which is now under the Taliban control. Maintaining that welfare of the Afghan people and "our relationship with them is very much in our mind", the envoy expressed happiness over the safe return of Indians from Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover of that country whose citizens now face an uncertain future. "We are happy that it's finally over and we are back home safely and securely without any accidents. We were a very large mission of 192 personnel, who were evacuated from Afghanistan within a period of three days in a very orderly fashion in two phases," Tandon told reporters at Jamnagar.An Indian Air Force plane with 120 people on-board, including Tandon, landed on Tuesday at the Jamnagar airbase in Gujarat from Kabul in Afghanistan. (PTI)

    17:42 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: IAF carries out a complicated evacuation from Kabul – “All eyes on Taliban,” says expert

    On Tuesday (August 17, 2021), Indian Air Force carried out a very complicated evacuation from Kabul, Afghanistan. With 148 Indians mostly diplomats and staff and ITBP personnel, C-17 transport aircraft landed at the Jamnagar Air Force Base before coming to the Hindan Air Force base, in Delhi NCR. READ FULL STORY

    17:39 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: France evacuates dozens from Kabul overnight

    France has evacuated several dozen people from Kabul in a military plane after the Taliban took power in Afghanistan. The flight early Tuesday brought the evacuees to a military air base in Abu Dhabi, and several of the passengers were then sent back to France. The French military did not say whether there were Afghan or other citizens among the several dozen people brought on the overnight flight. France withdrew its last troops from Afghanistan in 2014 and has already evacuated more than 1,000 Afghans who supported French forces. Images released by the military showed French troops checking their weapons and guarding the plane in the Kabul airport while others checked the documents of those boarding the flight. (AP)

    17:36 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: EU ministers to weigh Afghan security, migrant challenges

    European Union foreign ministers are holding emergency talks on Tuesday to weigh the security implications of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan amid concern that widespread fear of hardline Islamist rule will provoke an exodus of people from the conflict-ravaged country. Afghans are among the biggest group of nationalities seeking sanctuary in Europe, after Syrians. According to some EU estimates, around 570,000 Afghans have applied for asylum in Europe since 2015. French President Emmanuel Macron said Monday that France, Germany and other European partners would work swiftly on a "robust response" to any new influx of unauthorised migrants from Afghanistan. He said the "organised and just international effort" would be marked by "an effort of solidarity, the harmonisation of protection criteria and cooperation with transit countries" that Afghan migrants might move through. Turkey, with whom the EU already has a migrant outsourcing deal, is one such country. (AP)

    17:18 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: Not a worry for India, says ex-diplomat on Taliban taking over Afghanistan

    The Taliban taking over Afghanistan is not a cause for worry for India, an ex-Diplomat said on Tuesday. The former Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Oman and the UAE, Talmiz Ahmad also argued that New Delhi has no role in Afghanistan at present, and dismissed suggestions that India should engage with the Taliban. He termed as "absolute rubbish" some people expressing the view that India will be "jeopardised" if the Taliban gains total control of Afghanistan. "The Taliban is a national movement and they want to control Afghanistan but they have no interest outside Afghanistan," Ahmad told PTI in a telephonic interview. He said it's Pakistan which maintains a very tight control over movement of extremists into India for more than 30 years and continues to do so. "I don't see that situation changing only because the Taliban are in control in Afghanistan", Ahmad said. Stating that Al Qaeda and Islamic State (IS) have "no role" in India, he said Indian Muslims are not radicalised for 30 years by these "transnational movements". (PTI)

    17:15 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: IITs making efforts to help out Afghan students currently stuck in Afghanistan

    Various Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are making efforts to help out their students from Afghanistan who are currently stuck there following the capture of power by Taliban. India on Tuesday announced that it will issue an emergency e-visa to Afghan nationals who want to come to the country in view of the prevailing situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban captured power there. "In this hour of crisis, IIT Delhi stands in solidarity with our students and alumni from Afghanistan. We are doing every thing possible to get the students to return to the campus. Let's give them hope," said IIT Delhi Director V Ramgopal Rao. The institute has also announced helpline numbers for its Afghan students and alumni. Currently, 17 Afghan students are enrolled in various programmes at IIT Delhi and only one of them is in Delhi as the classes were being conducted online in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. "We are in touch with them and trying to provide all support. Unfortunately, till the visas are sorted we cannot get them here but we are providing them with all the documentation needed so as soon as the situation improves a bit and the embassy is functional, their visas can be expedited," Naveen Garg, Dean of International Affairs at IIT Delhi, told PTI. "We are also opening admission process for prospective candidates from Afghanistan who can come to India provided they meet our criteria," he added. (PTI)

    17:11 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: India very important in dealing with Afghan crisis, says UK

    India as a key partner of the UK in the region and chair of the United Nations Sanctions Committee will have a very important role to play in dealing with the unfolding crisis in Afghanistan with the takeover of the Taliban, the UK government said on Tuesday. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the way forward would involve the creation of some form of international "contact group" to ensure Afghanistan can never be used to launch terrorist attacks against the UK or its allies. "I think it's incredibly important in all of this to be working with a wider group of not just like-minded countries but partners that can exercise maximum influence. And that will mean, difficult as it is, to engage with China and Russia as well as our closer partners like India," Raab told the BBC. The senior Cabinet minister, who faced some criticism for going ahead with his summer vacation plans as the Afghan capital of Kabul fell over the weekend, returned to London on Monday ahead of an emergency Parliament session on Wednesday. He admitted that the international community was "caught off guard" and that the scale of the advances of the Taliban "took us all by surprise". "Now it is about how we use every lever we have at our disposal to try and moderate the influence of the regime that comes in. (PTI)

    17:09 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: Germany halts development aid for Afghanistan

    Germany halts development aid for Afghanistan: AFP (ANI)

    16:41 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: Evacuation flights resume at Kabul airport

    Military flights evacuating diplomats and civilians from Afghanistan resumed early on Tuesday after the runway at Kabul airport was cleared of thousands of people desperate to flee after the Taliban seized the capital.The number of civilians at the airport had thinned out, a Western security official at the facility told Reuters, a day after chaotic scenes in which U.S. troops fired to disperse crowds and people clung to a U.S. military transport plane as it taxied for take-off."Runway in Kabul international airport is open. I see airplanes landing and taking off," Stefano Pontecorvo, NATO's civilian representative said on Twitter. Reuters

    16:40 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: Taliban order fighters to respect foreigners in Afghanistan - official

    The Taliban have ordered their fighters to maintain discipline and not enter any diplomatic buildings or interfere with embassy vehicles, and for ordinary people to go about their business as usual, a senior official of the group said on Tuesday."Taliban members have been ordered at all levels to ensure that we don't disrespect any country's presence in Afghanistan," said the senior official, who declined to be identified. – Reuters

    16:34 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: Gorbachev, leader who pulled Soviets from Afghanistan, says U.S. campaign was doomed from start

    Mikhail Gorbachev, the leader who oversaw the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan in 1989 after Moscow's failed decade-long campaign there, said on Tuesday that NATO's own deployment to the country had been doomed from the start.Gorbachev, 90, regarded the Soviet presence in Afghanistan as a political mistake that was sapping precious resources at a time when the Soviet Union was living through what turned out to be the twilight of its own existence.The Soviet-backed authorities in Afghanistan survived for three years after the withdrawal by Moscow of its main forces but never recovered from a Russian decision to cut aid to them after the Soviet collapse in January 1992 and fell later that year.Gorbachev was cited by Russia's RIA news agency as saying that NATO and the Americans had no chance of success and had badly mishandled their own Afghan campaign."They (NATO and the United States) should have admitted failure earlier. The important thing now is to draw the lessons from what happened and make sure that similar mistakes are not repeated," Gorbachev told RIA. – Reuters

    16:28 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: Greece says cannot become gateway to EU for fleeing Afghans

    Greece does not want to become the entry point into the European Union for Afghans fleeing the escalating conflict in their homeland, Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi said on Tuesday, calling for a common EU response to the crisis.Greece was on the frontline of Europe's migration crisis in 2015, when nearly a million people fleeing conflict in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan landed on its islands, and like other EU member states, it is nervous that developments in Afghanistan could trigger a replay of that crisis."We are clearly saying that we will not and cannot be the gateway of Europe for the refugees and migrants who could try to come to the European Union," Mitarachi told state television ERT."We cannot have millions of people leaving Afghanistan and coming to the European Union ... and certainly not through Greece," he said. – Reuters

    16:24 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: UNICEF says some Taliban support education for Afghan girls

    Taliban representatives in some parts of Afghanistan have expressed support for educating girls after they seized control of the country, the U.N. children's agency (UNICEF) said on Tuesday.UNICEF is still delivering aid to most parts of Afghanistan and is quite hopeful for cooperation with Taliban representatives, Mustapha Ben Messaoud, UNICEF's chief of field operations in Afghanistan, told a U.N. briefing in Geneva."We have ongoing discussions, we are quite optimistic based on those discussions. We have not a single issue with the Taliban in those field offices," he said, adding that 11 out of 13 field offices were currently operational.The Taliban ruled Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001. – Reuters

    16:18 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: 41 Malayalees stranded in Afghanistan, please help, MEA urged

    Department of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs writes to MEA for evacuation of 41 Malayalees stranded in Afghanistan "Some of the messages received here stated that Taliban are verifying the identity of the stranded Indians & are taking away their passports," the letter reads - ANI

    16:17 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: Turkey says it welcomes Taliban statements since they seized control

    Turkey is in talks with all parties in Afghanistan, including the Taliban, and views positively the messages of the Islamist militants since they took control of the country, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday.Cavusoglu was speaking a day after Turkish security sources said Ankara had dropped plans to guard and operate Kabul airport following the withdrawal of other NATO forces from Afghanistan because of the chaos which accompanied the Taliban victory.The sources told Reuters Turkey was instead ready to provide technical and security assistance if the Taliban requested it."We are keeping up dialogue with all sides, including the Taliban," Cavusoglu told reporters on a visit to Jordan.NATO member Ankara, which has 600 troops in Afghanistan, will also continue talks with the United States and others over security at the airport and the transition in Afghanistan. – Reuters

    15:39 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: Why did the Afghan National Army not fight?

    Lt Col Manoj K Channan, an Indian Army Veteran, writes about what's happening in Afghanistan and what's on Biden's mind. Channan says the US pull-out was in it is own interest and as in the mid-seventies, it allowed Russia to be sucked into the Afghanistan quagmire, it’s hoping the Taliban – Iran – China – Russia – Pakistan will sink into the quicksand. Read full article here  

    15:34 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: No, India's e-Visa for Afghans is not religion based

    Amidst the chaos in Afghanistan after the Taliban took over Kabul on Sunday, the citizens of that country are looking to escape from there. For those who are stuck in Afghanistan as the country witnesses more uncertainty e-Emergency X-Misc Visa has been introduced on an urgent basis and this will help in expediting the visa application process. There is no religion-based priority visa for the Afghan citizens. – Read Ful Report Here

    15:32 (IST)17 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live: Taliban issues fresh orders for its fighters in Kabul

    Taliban has asked its fighters to maintain discipline and not enter the abandoned embassies in Kabul, reports Reuters. 

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