Air India pilots’ union offers ‘full support’ for evacuation of Indians from Afghanistan

In a letter to Union Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia, the ICPA, a pilots union of the national carrier Air India said: "Our pilots are ready to operate evacuation">evacuation flights in the service of our country".

New Delhi: The Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association (ICPA) on Tuesday pledged complete support and cooperation to evacuate Indian nationals from Afghanistan amid the deteriorating security situation in the war-torn country.

In a letter to Union Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia, the ICPA, a pilots union of the national carrier Air India said: “Our pilots are ready to operate evacuation”>evacuation flights in the service of our country”.

 “Being a patriotic and responsible union, the ICPA would extend complete support and cooperation to evacuate the precious lives of the people of our country from Afghanistan. You can count on us,” the letter said.

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Taliban have intensified their onslaught against Afghan security forces members and civilians amid the drawdown of the US-led foreign forces in Afghanistan.

The Indian Consulate General in Mazar-e-Sharif earlier today asked Indian nationals to evacuate from places in and around Mazar-e-Sharif in Balkh province.

“A special flight is leaving from Mazar-e-Sharif to New Delhi. Any Indian nationals in and around Mazar-e-Sharif are requested to leave for India in the special flight scheduled to depart late today evening,” the Indian Consulate General in Mazar-e-Sharif said.

The Indian embassy in Afghanistan today asked its nationals to immediately leave the country by making arrangements to return home before commercial flight services are discontinued due to an ongoing offensive in the war-torn country by the Taliban, which has announced that it is moving to capture Mazar-i-Sharif city.

 Further, the Taliban have intensified assaults on the capitals of Balkh (Mazar-e-Sharif); Baghlan (Pul-e-Khumri); Badakhshan (Faizabad) and Farah (Farah). Separately, clashes continued in Lashkar Gah, Kandahar and Herat cities. Last month, some staff of the Indian embassy in Kandahar were evacuated due to the deteriorating security situation in the province.

Earlier, India had hinted that it will bring back its nationals and officials from Afghanistan if the security situation worsens as the Taliban continues to advance and capture more provinces.

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