Modi, Putin discuss Afghanistan,
agree to continue consultations

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NEW DELHI: India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday discussed recent developments in Afghanistan and agreed to continue close consultations on important issues.
Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister Modi said he had a “detailed and useful exchange of views” with his friend Putin on Afghanistan and discussed issues on the bilateral agenda, including India-Russia cooperation against COVID-19. “Had a detailed and useful exchange of views with my friend President Putin on recent developments in Afghanistan. We also discussed issues on the bilateral agenda, including India-Russia cooperation against COVID-19. We agreed to continue close consultations on important issues,” tweeted PM Modi.

A file picture of meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin

According to a PMO release, the two leaders emphasised on the importance of maintaining peace and security, with the most urgent priority being the repatriation of stranded people from Afghanistan.”The leaders discussed the unfolding security situation in Afghanistan and its implications on the region and the world. They emphasized the importance of maintaining peace and security, with the most urgent priority being the repatriation of stranded people,” the release said.
The phone call comes at a time when several countries including India are evacuating their citizens from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, Moscow has praised the Taliban for restoring order following its takeover of the country.
According to the statement, the two leaders also exchanged views on issues of multilateral interest such as the forthcoming COP-26 meeting and the Indian initiative to promote a dialogue on maritime security at the United Nations Security Council.

Hardeep Puri NEW DELHI: Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri prior to speaking to the media after the arrival of the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs, brought from Kabul, at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, in New Delhi on Tuesday. (ANI Photo)

626 Afghans including 228 Indian citizens evacuated

India’s Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday informed that a total of 626 people including 228 Indian citizens have been evacuated from Afghanistan till now. He also informed out of them, 77 were Afghan Sikhs.
The number of Indian citizens evacuated does not include those working in the Indian Embassy, Puri added. Talking about the three Swaroop of Sri Guru Granth Sahib brought from Kabul to Delhi today, Puri said, “It was a very emotional and moving experience for me as a Sikh to be able to pay obeisance.”
“During the beginning of the pandemic, in March 2020, when the Gurudwara at Kabul was attacked, the Central government facilitated 383 Afghan Sikhs to come to India. During the latest developments in Afghanistan, seven evacuation flights were organised,” he added.
Further, Puri said PM Modi has always lent the Sikh community, home or abroad, a shoulder of support in times of distress. “The sewadars who have come (from Afghanistan) have thanked PM Modi and Mother India that we are able to provide sanctuary and comfort to people in distress, particularly to Hindus and Sikhs,” he added.
Talking about his recent tweet regarding Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Hardeep Singh Puri said, “The same people who were opposing CAA legislation when it was enacted are demanding to adjust the cut-off date today.”
Sharing a news article, Puri had tweeted on August 22, “Recent developments in our volatile neighbourhood and the way Sikhs and Hindus are going through a harrowing time are precisely why it was necessary to enact the Citizenship Amendment Act.” (ANI)