The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Monday continued with its evacuation operations in war-torn Afghanistan as Hindus and Afghan Sikhs queue up to return to India. The IAF on Monday brought back 75 people from Afghanistan, which included 46 Sikhs and Hindus.
Also, the IAF brought back three copies of Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib from Afghanistan. The revelation in this regard came from Union urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri. The minister took to Twitter and said, “Three Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji are being escorted to the IAF aircraft at Kabul Airport. Forty-six Afghan Hindus and Sikhs along with stranded Indian nationals are blessed to return on the same flight.”
ਆਗਿਆ ਭਈ ਅਕਾਲ ਕੀ ਤਬੀ ਚਲਾਇਓ ਪੰਥ ||
ਸਭ ਸਿਖਨ ਕੋ ਹੁਕਮ ਹੈ ਗੁਰੂ ਮਾਨਿਯੋ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ||
3 Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji are being escorted to the @IAF_MCC aircraft at Kabul Airport.
46 Afghan Hindus & Sikhs along with stranded Indian nationals are blessed to return on the same flight. pic.twitter.com/qzqW5ZF6W3
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) August 23, 2021
IAF brought 168 people on Sunday
On Sunday, the IAF brought back 168 passengers from war-torn Afghanistan, including 107 Indians. The special repatriation flight took off from Kabul and landed at the Hindon airbase near the national capital on Sunday morning.
Apart from bringing back Indians stuck in the Taliban-controlled nation, it also brought back two Afghan senators and 24 Afghan Sikhs. Afghanistan’s MP Narendra Singh Khalsa was visibly emotional while reiterating the devastation caused by the terror group in the country. Upon arrival in Delhi, Khalsa said, “I feel like crying…Everything that was built in the last 20 years is now finished. It’s zero now.”
200 people still stranded in Afghanistan
There are some 200 more Afghan Sikhs and Hindus still stranded in Afghanistan, as per Puneet Singh Chandhok, president of the Indian World Forum, an organisation coordinating evacuation efforts with the Ministry of External Affairs and the IAF.
“These people have taken shelter at the Karte Parwan Gurdwara in Kabul, which is close to the airport,” said Chandhok. Referring to those still stranded in Kabul, he said the 10-kilometre-long drive to the international airport from the Gurdwara Karte Parwan through various checkpoints is one of the biggest challenges in the rescue efforts.
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