India warns its citizens of ‘High Kidnapping Risk’ in Afghanistan

New Delhi , Aug 13 (KMS): India warned its roughly 1,500 residents in Afghanistan of “high risk of kidnapping” in the country as the Taliban overran more key regional cities in an offensive that has left the capital dangerously exposed.

A government official said that there is no plan for evacuation as of now as commercial flights are operational. However, all Indian companies have been told categorically to remove Indian personnel from any project site. Employees of foreign companies asked to inform employer that they need to leave, the official added.

The Indian residents have been asked to get themselves registered with the Embassy, which is still functional in Kabul but a contingency plan ready. The Centre also warned Indian journalists arriving in Afghanistan for ground reporting. They have been advised to take additional security measures during their stay and movement in the country.

Referring to the death of Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui (without naming him), who was killed last month during his reporting assignment in Afghanistan for Reuters, the advisory said, “As a recent tragic incident demonstrated, the public profile of Indian journalists in Afghanistan entails additional risks.”

BJP MP Subramanian Swamy had earlier called on the Narendra Modi government to protect Hindus and Sikhs in the war-torn nation. “We must help the Afghan Government and send 20,000 troops to protect Kabul and also give refuge to Hindus and Sikhs there.”

India’s fresh advisory has come even as US, UK and Canada have started pulling out their residents from the war-torn region.

Here’s What Other Countries are Doing:

 

US: Washington has moved to quickly pull out their embassy staff and other citizens from Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital. We are further reducing our civilian footprint in Kabul in light of the evolving security situation,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters, while noting the embassy would remain open.

“This is not abandonment. This is not an evacuation. This is not the wholesale withdrawal.” The Pentagon said 3,000 US troops would be deployed to Kabul within the next 24 to 48 hours, underscoring that they would not be used to launch attacks against the Taliban.

US President Joe Biden insisted he has no regrets with his decision, but the speed and ease of the Taliban’s urban victories in recent days has been a surprise and forced new calculations.

UK: Britain’s Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said London would send 600 of its own troops to evacuate its nationals and former Afghan staff. Price said the United States would also start sending in daily flights to evacuate Afghan interpreters and others who assisted the Americans.