India evacuates diplomats, security personnel from Kandahar

India has pulled out around 50 diplomats and security personnel from its consulate in Kandahar in Afghanistan in view of the deteriorating security situation and the Taliban gaining control of new areas around the southern Afghan city, people familiar with the development said on Sunday.

A special aircraft of the Indian Air Force was sent on Saturday to bring back the Indian diplomats, officials and other staff members including a group of Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel, they said. The evacuation was done on Saturday, just four days after India said there were no imminent plans to close its mission in Kabul and consulates in the cities of Kandahar and Mazar-e-Sharif. However, officials had then said that India was closely tracking the deteriorating security situation across Afghanistan and all steps will be taken to ensure that Indian officials and nationals were not put in harm’s way. Meanwhile, the emergency services of the consulate remain operational. However, diplomatic sources stated that reports of shutting of Indian Consulate in Kandahar, Afghanistan are incorrect. And the mission remains functional, they added.

India had earlier hinted that it will bring back its nationals and officials from Afghanistan if the security situation worsens as the Taliban is making advances and capturing more provinces.