Everything is finished: Afghan senator in tears after landing in India
- 168 people were evacuated from Afghanistan by the Indian Air Force on Sunday
- Two Afghan senators were among those evacuated
- Returnees are being tested for COVID-19 at the Hindon air base
The special Indian Air Force flight that evacuated 168 people from Kabul carried two Afghanistan senators who served the country’s civilian administration. Upon landing in India, one of the Afghan senators tearfully proclaimed, “Everything that was built in the last 20 years is now finished. It’s zero now.”. The senator, Narender Singh Khalsa, was speaking to the media at the Hindon air base where the Indian Air Force flight landed.
As of now, India has been allowed to operate two flights per day from Kabul to evacuate its nationals stranded in Afghanistan. Indians from Afghanistan also came in three other flights, operated by Air India, Indigo and Vistara. The flights landed from Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe and Qatar’s Doha early morning Sunday, reports NDTV.
News agency ANI reported that the Afghan special cell set up by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has received more than 2,000 calls over the last five days and responded to nearly 6,000 messages on WhatsApp, quoting government sources.
Sunday’s evacuation comes almost a week after the last batch of Indians, including staff from the Indian embassy in Kabul and Indo-Tibetan Border Force personnel were brought to Jamnagar in Gujarat.
Many of the people who were evacuated on Sunday are from a Gurudwara in Kabul where they were sheltering for days. The Sikhs will be moved to Delhi’s Bangla Sahib.
Meanwhile, Indian Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that the Indian government has decided to vaccinate Afghan refugees coming to India with free polio vaccine as a preventive measure against the Wild Polio Virus. Returnees also underwent COVID-19 tests at the airport.
Sunday marks a week since the Taliban took over Afghanistan from the civilian administration by force. Since then, a flurry of Afghans and people from other nationalities stuck in Afghanistan have been trying to escape the war-torn country.