Rattled by the Taliban’s lightning takeover of Afghanistan and the collapse of Kabul, at least, three Kashmiris and their families have requested the Indian authorities for immediate evacuation. As India evacuated its entire embassy, including ambassador Rudrendra Tandon, on Tuesday, several Indians continue to remain stranded in Afghanistan.
Mohammad Asif, who teaches economics at Kabul’s Bakhtar University, told Newsclick that he is restricted to the campus for the last three days while trying to reach out to the Indian authorities.
“I had booked flights twice, including on Tuesday, but they are not operating. So far, we haven’t received any information from the authorities but we hope that they will evacuate us at the earliest,” said, Asif, who has been teaching in Kabul for the last four years.
Back home, Asif’s wife Syed Shabina is eagerly awaiting his return. “He is safe right now and in constant touch with us,” said Shabina, who also is in contact with the Jammu and Kashmir Students Association (JKSA) for updates.
Professor Adil Rasool, who also teaches at the same university and stays with his wife on the campus, too has been trying to contact Indian officials for a safe passage.
JKSA spokesperson Nasir Khuehami told Newsclick that he had spoken “to the families of the stranded Kashmiris and informed the administration about their situation”.
The JKSA has also set up a toll-free helpline number, 1800 891 9650, for Indian students stuck in Afghanistan and the 15,000-plus Afghan students studying in India.
The office of lieutenant-general Manoj Sinha tweeted that he has reached out to minister of state for external affairs V Muraleedharan for evacuation of Kashmiris from Kabul. “Spoke to V Muraleedharan for immediate evacuation of professors from Kulgam teaching at Bakhtar University in Kabul. He has assured the government is committed to bring (sic) back every citizen safely as soon as possible. I assure the families of Prof Asif Ahmed and Prof Adil Rasool that they are safe and will be home soon,” the L-G’s office tweeted.
The situation in Kabul remains highly volatile and unpredictable as the Taliban swept the capital and almost all the provinces in a blitzkrieg.
Asif said that the situation on the campus is fine as of now but he is not sure about outside.