Conditions in Afghanistan extremely disturbing, says Congress

Conditions in Afghanistan extremely disturbing, says Congress
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala. File photo: IANS

New Delhi, Aug 16 (IANS) A day after Taliban captured power in Afghanistan, the Congress on Monday described conditions there as "extremely alarming" saying India's strategic interests are at stake.

Speaking to media here, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, "Situation in Afghanistan is extremely alarming. India's strategic interests are at stake."

He said that the safety and security of our embassy and its personnel as also that of Indian citizens is at stake. "Congress Party stands solidly behind protecting India's interests and expects a mature political and diplomatic response from our government over the complete collapse of government in Afghanistan and Taliban takeover," he said.

His remarks came a day after Taliban has declared that the war in Afghanistan is over after its fighters swept into the capital, Kabul, and President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.

Mohammad Naeem, a spokesman for the Taliban's political office in Doha, told Al Jazeera the group did not want to live in isolation and said the type and form of the new government in Afghanistan would be made clear soon.

The Congress leader also raised questions on the silence of the government and said, "The stunning silence of the Narendra Modi government is deeply disturbing and highly intriguing, which is beyond any reasonable understanding."

He said, the Modi government's refusal to set in motion a well thought out plan to evacuate our citizens is a "gross abdication" of its duty and is totally unacceptable. "Taliban and Haqqani Network connections with Pakistan's ISI and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jamaat-u-Dawa (JuD) are well known," he said.

He pointed out that there is an urgent need to revisit our geo-political interests in this background and its impact on Jammu and Kashmir. "Sadly, the Modi government is oblivious of the same," he said.

"Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) and External Affairs Minister (S. Jaishankar) need to come out and clearly spell out our policy for safe return of our citizens, embassy personnel as also our future relationship," Surjewala said.

Questioning the silence of the government, he said: "Unexplained silence at this extremely critical juncture gives rise to a reasonable apprehension that the Modi government is hiding something from the country. We are still in the dark over Modi government's role in Doha talks."

"Need of the hour is that the Modi government wakes up from its slumber and protects Indian citizens in Afghanistan and tell the country how it will tackle the dangerous situation in the immediate neighbourhood," he added.

The UN Security Council will discuss the situation in Afghanistan later on Monday.