168 People Including 107 Indians And 2 Afghan MPs Arrive From Kabul

168 People Including 107 Indians And 2 Afghan MPs Arrive From Kabul

Two Afghan Members of Parliament (MP) and their families were among 168 people, including 107 Indians, airlifted from Kabul to the Hindon airbase in Ghaziabad, in an Indian Air Force C-17 military transport aircraft, on Sunday.

As per reports, the group had 24 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus, including the two minority MPs, Narinder Singh Khalsa and Anarkali Kaur Honaryar.

Khalsa said, "India is our second home. We have been living there since generations. We pray to God that Afghanistan is rebuilt, and we can go back to tend to our gurdwaras and temples and serve the people."

"I thank the government of India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian Air Force for lifting us from Kabul and saving my life," Honaryar said in a video message.

"All achievements of the last 20 years in Afghanistan have been lost. Nothing is left. It's zero now," said Khalsa. "I feel like crying. Everything is finished. It is a very difficult and painful decision to leave the country. We have not seen such a situation. Everything has been snatched away. It's all over," he added.

people after safely getting into IAF aircrafts from Kabul

Khalsa informed that almost all Indians and Afghan Sikhs were taking shelter at gurdwaras in Kabul and elsewhere.

According to a report frpm leading daily, the evacuation efforts began Friday night, when 72 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus were moved from a gurdwara to the airport in Kabul. But they were stopped by the Taliban on Saturday, and sent back to the gurdwara. The group again made its way to the airport on Saturday, and some of them, including the two MPs, were finally allowed to board the IAF plane.

Khalsa said, "They (Taliban) separated us from others while going to the Kabul airport yesterday as we are Afghan nationals… We fled as we have small children with us."

He further added, "At each of the airport gates, 5,000-6,000 people were standing. Initially, we could not go inside. Then around 8 at night, we entered the airport by a VIP entry point."

"I don't know what I will do here. I was working there for 10 years. I built a life there…it's all gone," said Rajiv Malik, a businessman from Kabul.

Vikramjit Singh Sahney, president, World Punjabi Organisation has informed, "The Ministry of External Affairs has reached an agreement with the US security forces to allow two flights per day for evacuation of Indian nationals. We hope the remaining Afghan Sikhs and Hindus will be evacuated soon. The only issue remains access to the Kabul airport due to the chaos there."

Sources said the next batch of 185 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus is expected to be evacuated on Monday or Tuesday.

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