Government calls all-party meeting on Afghanistan


New Delhi: The government has called an all-party meeting on Thursday on the developments in Afghanistan.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will brief the floor leaders of political parties on the present situation in Afghanistan in the in-person meeting.

The government’s briefing is expected to focus on its evacuation mission from Afghanistan as well as its assessment of the situation in the war-torn country in the wake of the Taliban seizing control of almost all key Afghan towns and cities, including Kabul.

“Floor Leaders of Political Parties would be briefed by EAM @DrSJaishankar on the present situation in Afghanistan, on 26th August, 11 am in Main Committee Room, PHA, New Delhi. Invites are being sent through email. All concerned are requested to attend,” Joshi tweeted.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that representatives of her party, the Trinamool Congress, will attend the meeting.

“We will definitely be attending Thursday’s all-party meeting on Afghanistan,” the TMC supremo told reporters at the state secretariat in Kolkata.

Earlier, Jaishankar said Prime Minister Narendra Modi instructed the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA)) to brief the floor leaders of the political parties.

“In view of developments in Afghanistan, PM @narendramodi has instructed that MEA brief Floor Leaders of political parties. Minister of Parliamentary Affairs @JoshiPralhad will be intimating further details,” Jaishankar said on Twitter.

The Taliban swept across Afghanistan this month following the withdrawal of the US forces from the country.

As part of its evacuation mission from Afghanistan, India has already brought back around 730 people including members of the Afghan Sikh and Hindu communities.

India on Monday brought back 146 of its nationals in four different flights from Qatar’s capital Doha, days after they were evacuated from Afghanistan by NATO and American aircraft in view of the deteriorating security situation in the war-torn country.

On Sunday, 392 people, including two Afghan lawmakers, were brought to India in three different flights under the evacuation mission.

The Taliban seized control of Kabul on August 15. Within two days of the Taliban’s capture of Kabul, India had evacuated 200 people, including the Indian envoy and other staffers of its embassy in the Afghan capital.

The first evacuation flight brought back over 40 people, mostly staffers at the Indian embassy, on August 16.

The second aircraft evacuated around 150 people, including Indian diplomats, officials, security personnel and some stranded Indians, from Kabul on August 17.

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