NEW DELHI: India is closely monitoring the situation in Afghanistan and is in touch with other countries as well, the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson said on Friday as over 100 people were killed in Kabul blasts on Thursday.
“We are monitoring the situation in Afghanistan and are in touch with other countries especially the US as they are operating the Kabul airport,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said during a weekly briefing on Friday. He added, “We have been seeking a peaceful, prosperous and democratic Afghanistan. We are currently monitoring it closely. The current focus is on the security situation of Afghanistan evacuations and seeing how it unfolds. Other countries are in the frame of wait and watch.”
He also said the Kabul attacks are a matter of concern and expressed condolences over the casualties.
Over the recognition of the Taliban as government, Bagchi said, “The situation on the ground is uncertain (in Afghanistan). The primary concern is the security and safety of people. Currently, there is no clarity about any entity forming a government in Kabul. I think we are jumping the gun regarding recognition.”
Asked about the evacuations from Afghanistan, Bagchi said so far India has evacuated over 550 people in six separate flights, either from Kabul or Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe, of these, over 260 were Indians.
New Delhi also facilitated the evacuation of Indian nationals through other agencies and are in touch with various countries, like US, Tajikistan, Iran and others.
Sikh community arrives back to India
It was an emotional moment not only for the Sikh community but for the entire country when the “Swaroops” of Shri Guru Granth Sahib were brought to Delhi safely from Afghanistan after its complete takeover by the Taliban.
Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, carried on his head the Sikh Holy book Guru Granth Sahib on its arrival at T-3 Terminal in Delhi on Tuesday, August 24, 2021. It was a testimony of India’s rich culture and tradition. For all good things that happen, there is a tradition in our country to thank God and the people behind it. In line with this rich tradition, Sukran Ki Ardaas (a thanksgiving prayer) was organised by the members of the Sikh community at Guru Arjan Dev Ji Gurudwara near Tilak Nagar in Delhi.
Pratap Singh, a member of the Sikh comminity said, “We urge the Government of India to prioritise the return of the remaining people of the Sikh community who are still stuck in Afghanistan so that they can celebrate Gurupurab in India and participate in yatras organised on the occasion.”
Special thanksgiving prayers were also performed by the Sikh Community on Thursday in the main Gurudwara in Shimla, E-4 Gurudwara in Bhopal, Gurudwara Baba Naam Dev in Kanpur, Digyana Gurudwara in Jammu, Shri Guru Singh Sabha Gurudwara at Rani Bazar Shariefpur in Amritsar and Gurudwara Har Gobind Singh in new Guru Nanak Pura area of Jalandhar.
After the prayers, the Sikh Community leaders had also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for ensuring the safe arrival of the Swaroops and urged the central government to do its best to bring to safety the remaining Sikh families stuck in Kabul.
“The entire Sikh community thanks Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri for the safe return of Sikh and Hindu families. Today, a ‘Sukran ki Ardaas’ was held at Gurudwara Singh Sabha in Arera Colony, Bhopal to pray for the safe return of the remaining Sikh and Hindu families who are still in Afghanistan,” said a member of Gurudwara Singh Sabha in Arera Colony, Bhopal.
Gurpreet Singh, another Gurudwara member had said, “Sukran ki Ardaas was held at Gurudwara Singh Sabha in Arera Colony after ‘Swaroops’ of Guru Granth Sahib were flown back from Afghanistan. I thank the Government of India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri for the safe return of Sikh and Hindu families from Afghanistan. We pray to God for the safe return of the remaining Sikh and Hindu families in Afghanistan.”
The three copies of the Sikh holy book Guru Granth Sahib arrived from Kabul along with 75 evacuees from Afghanistan on an Indian Air Force plane on Tuesday.
Hardeep Singh Puri, in a tweet on Tuesday, said, “Blessed to receive and pay obeisance to three holy Swaroop of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji from Kabul to Delhi a short while ago.” (ANI)