The Centre on Thursday chaired an all-party meeting on the Afghanistan crisis. In the 3.5-hour-long meeting, which had in attendance 47 leaders from 31 parties, the Ministry of External Affairs gave a briefing on the present situation. The External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar gave an introductory speech, followed by a presentation on the issue given by Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla. There were discussions on the presentation thereafter, during which the opposition parties raised their issues, and the government issues clarification.
Addressing the media after the meeting, S Jaishankar asserted that country led by the Bharatiya Janata Party's Central government has a very strong position on the Afghan issue. "We have approached the situation in a spirit of national unity", the External Affairs Minister said, underlining that the views of the political parties that took part in the meeting were pretty much the same. He pointed out that the priority for all is 'evacuation'.
Elaborating on the assurance given by the government with respect to bringing Indians back home, the External Affairs Minister underlined,"I shared with them that we have Devi Shakti under operation. We have sent six flights, the latest one of which took off at 3 in the morning."
Pointing out that the country has brought back most of the Indians, S Jaishankar said, "The efforts to bring back those who remain stuck in the war-torn country would continue." The External Affairs Minister added that country has also been making efforts to bring back those Afghans who have been wanting to come to India in this intense situation. "We have brought E-visa to make travelling for them convenient."
S Jaishankar also took the opportunity to address India's stand on the Afghan crisis as part of the global community. Pointing out that the country is in constant contact with its partners, the External Affairs Minister added, "In the past of few days, as you know, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has held meetings with the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, and also with the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel. " He added the there are many calls scheduled for the Prime Minister as well as the External Affairs Ministers scheduled at their respective levels.
The External Affairs Minister, however, refrained from divulging India's stand on the Afghanistan issue-like if the Taliban government would be acknowledged and accepted by the country."Let the political situation in Afghanistan develop, and only then India would be able to take a concrete stand on the matter", said Jaishankar, urging people to be patient in this regard.