Monday, August 23, 2021

IAF’s C-17 : Lifeline for the Indians and others waiting to be evacuated from Kabul

On Sunday morning C-17 heavy-lift military transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) brought back 168 passengers. There were 107 Indian, 24 Afghan Sikhs and two Afghan senators on board. The families of Anarkali Honaryar and Narender Singh Khalsa were on board the special IAF flight.

The flight that had taken off from Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul landed at the Hindon air base near Delhi. It was a special flight which was deployed for this mission and was closely coordinated by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) which has set up a 24×7 Special Afghanistan Cell.

According to reports these evacuees who arrived on board the special flight are going to stay at the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara. Many of them were actually staying in the safety of a Gurdwara in Kabul.

This is the second batch of Indians to be evacuated from Kabul in a week after Taliban took over Afghanistan, who had come on board C-17 Transport Aircraft of the IAF and had first landed in Gujarat for refueling before reaching Delhi.

There are no direct commercial flights to the war torn Afghanistan. Around 87 people were evacuated from Kabul and lifted to Dushanbe on board C-17 of IAF.

However those who wanted to come to India are now coming on board commercial flights from other countries including Dushanbe in Tajikistan and Doha in Qatar. There are three flights – Vistara, IndiGo and Air India carrying Indian passengers who had been evacuated from that country.

According to sources, two flights per day will be allowed to operate out of the Hamid Karzai International Airport to bring back those who want to come to India.

22/08/21 Huma Siddiqui/Financial Express

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