The chaos at Kabul Airport in Afghanistan, which is trembling under Taliban control, is not taking its name to stop. At the same time, efforts to rescue Indians trapped on Afghan soil are also facing many difficulties. The Indian Air Force plane sent to Afghanistan could not take off even late Friday night due to the crowd coming out of Kabul, the problem of scheduling military flights of different countries. However, there are indications that the C-17 aircraft of the Indian Air Force will be able to fly with more than 250 people on Saturday and will reach India in the afternoon. Along with this, preparations have also been made to evacuate the remaining people by sending another military aircraft soon.
Meanwhile, Indian citizens stranded in Kabul and Afghan nationals trying to come to India are waiting for a C-17 aid flight in very difficult conditions. Under the pressure of the crowd present at Kabul airport for the last five days, where the arrangements have collapsed. At the same time, US officials controlling the airport are also facing the challenge of managing the turn-around time at Hamid Karzai International Airport with short runways for flights coming from different countries. That is, the difficulties of taking the least amount of time between landing of an aircraft, seating the passengers and then taking off are being faced.
According to sources, the problem is related to coordination in the flight of military aircraft at the airport. In Kabul’s relatively small military runway area, very little time is being given for any aircraft to land, board passengers and take off. Since military flights are taking place at present, there is pressure from military aircraft of all countries. Obviously, India needs at least two hours for the plane to reach the airport and accommodate a large number of passengers.
Due to these challenges, the C-17 Globemaster aircraft of the Indian Air Force has been in Dushanbe, Tajikistan for the last 48 hours and is waiting for a flight signal for Kabul. According to sources, several attempts were made for this flight. But the exercise of transporting stranded Indians from Kabul to the airport together to board the plane is very complicated. At the same time, it is also becoming a challenge for the aircraft to find the time-window of landing and take-off for this mission in Kabul. Meanwhile, more than 250 Indians and some Afghan citizens are eagerly waiting to come to India.
Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has spoken to US Foreign Minister Tony Blinken to increase the pace of Mission Kabul for the evacuation of Indians. While returning to India from America, he met Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in Doha, capital of Qatar. The two leaders discussed the situation in Afghanistan. It is important that India is also trying to get Indians out of Kabul through Qatar flights if needed.
External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar had said in front of the cameras after a meeting at the UN Security Council that the Indian government’s first priority is to rescue Indians trapped in Afghanistan. For this, we are in touch with all important international partners including America. He described the role of America as important, which is currently in Kabul with the hope that this plane can fly by Saturday morning. In such a situation, the C17 aircraft is expected to reach Hindon Air Force Station on Saturday afternoon.
Meanwhile, more than 200 Indians are in two-three groups at different places near Kabul airport. Because waiting at Kabul airport in chaos with so many people is neither feasible nor possible. This group with women and small children is just waiting. Along with Indian citizens, there are some Afghan citizens who want to come to India. At the same time, India’s challenge is also that it has to coordinate this mission with Delhi and Tajikistan’s capital Dunshanbe instead of Kabul. Because after the influx of Taliban in Afghanistan, the Indian staff of the Embassy in Kabul returned to the country on 18 August.
Former Indian Army soldier Anurag Gurung, who stayed at a place near Kabul Airport waiting for his return to his homeland, told ABP News that everyone wants to leave as soon as possible. After reaching Kabul Airport, when it came to know that the plane would not be able to take off on Thursday, everyone was disappointed and upset. Then decided to move to a safer place in the nearby area. In Kabul’s unsafe environment, it is very difficult to stay in confined spaces with women and small children. All the people are just waiting with confidence that the flight time for the Air Force aircraft is fixed as soon as possible and can return to their country.
In fact, in Kabul city seeing a state of chaos, it is a difficult process to first bring people from different areas to the airport safely, get them admitted to the military area of the airport and then board the plane. Especially when there is chaos at the airport. The challenge is compounded when there are no Indian officials present at Ground Zero and the officers handling this mission have to work in coordination with the local Afghan staff in Kabul from Delhi and Dushanbe.