Two Indian Air Force C-17 transports flew into Kabul on August 15 to evacuate Indian embassy personnel, including Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel defending the mission. Details of the challenging and difficult conditions under which the Indian mission staff were evacuated have now emerged.
The security situation in the intervening night of 15-16 August deteriorated sharply and evacuations were not possible. The Indian embassy was also reportedly under Taliban surveillance and the highly secured Green Zone was breached.
The Taliban terrorists invaded the Shahir Visa Agency, which processes visas for Afghans who want to travel to India.
The first batch of 45 Indian personnel evacuated on the first IAF plane yesterday was initially stopped by Taliban sentries on their way to the airport.
The personal belongings of a few Indian staffers were taken by the Taliban terrorists as they headed to the airport, sources said.
The first Indian transport plane to leave Kabul yesterday took off in very challenging conditions given the chaos at the Kabul airport where thousands of desperate Afghans had arrived hoping to fly out of the country.
The remaining members of the Indian diplomatic and security contingent were unable to evacuate yesterday because the route to the airport was closed and crowds were at the airport.
An overnight conversation between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of State S Jaishankar may have contributed to the transfer of Indian personnel to Kabul airport this morning.
All the remaining Indian mission members – more than 120 – including Ambassador Rudrendra Tandon, boarded the second IAF C-17 and safely exited Afghan airspace this morning and are due to arrive shortly.