Development forces delay in departure of special IAF plane, which has been waiting at Kabul airport since Wednesday

At least 140 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus and others have been stopped by the Taliban from going to the Kabul airport, said president of the Indian World Forum Puneet Singh, who has been coordinating the evacuation with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The development has forced a delay in the departure of a special IAF aircraft, which has been waiting at the Kabul airport since Wednesday.

 

The Indian World Forum said the Taliban turned back the passengers from outside the airport on Wednesday night.

The Hindu had reported that around 200 Hindus and Sikhs of Afghanistan, including other citizens of the country, were scheduled to arrive in the Hindon airbase by Thursday morning. But the movement has been stopped, as the Taliban reportedly blocked those approaching the airport.

Taliban’s call

The Taliban has been urging Afghan nationals not to leave the country and work with the Islamic Emirate that it aims to set up in the coming weeks.

 

Sources said India had moved out a total of 565 stranded individuals from Afghanistan since evacuation flights began. This included 175 personnel of the Indian embassy, 263 other Indian nationals and 112 Afghan nationals, including Hindus and Sikhs.

The Hindu was informed that multiple checkpoints by various armed militant groups, overflight clearances from different countries, and delay in landing permissions have been the major problems posing a challenge to the evacuation process. The biggest challenge, however, came from the frequent firing near the airport and inside.

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