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Is India Talking To Taliban In Afghanistan? Foreign Ministry Says This – dot newz

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Harsh Vardhan Shringla said India is closely monitoring the developments in Afghanistan. (File)

New Delhi:

India is engaged with important stakeholders and regional countries on the Afghan crisis and is adopting a “wait and watch” approach to see whether the new dispensation in Afghanistan will be solely a government of the Taliban or be part of a power-sharing arrangement with other Afghan leaders.

It is learnt that Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said this while briefing parliamentary leaders of political parties at an all-party meeting convened by the government to apprise them about India’s assessment and approach on the developments in Afghanistan after the Taliban seized its control.

Mr Shringla informed the lawmakers that India is working with its key partners and is continuing engagement with the people of Afghanistan, said one of the attendees on condition of anonymity.

The foreign secretary was part of the government team led by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar at the all-party meeting.

In his briefing, Mr Shringla told the lawmakers that the situation in Afghanistan is “quite fluid” and that India is closely monitoring the political and security developments in the country.

It is learnt that the foreign secretary conveyed to the lawmakers that India needs to see how the new set-up is formed and whether it is solely a government of the Taliban or whether there is power-sharing with other Afghan leaders.

In the last few days, senior Afghan leader Abdullah Abdullah has held a series of meetings in Kabul with senior Taliban leaders, representatives of different Afghan provinces, academicians and leading activists on the situation in the country and ways to establish an inclusive government.

Mr Shringla told the lawmakers that India has been in touch with countries such as the US, UK, France, Russia, China, Germany, Qatar, Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan as well as with the UN Secretary-General and UN Security Council on the developments in Afghanistan.

In view of the ongoing humanitarian crisis, providing assistance to Afghan nationals in distress is important, Mr Shringla told the lawmakers, adding India is committed to providing leadership for the region in accordance with our “Neighbourhood First” policy.

He said India also received requests from its neighbouring countries for evacuation of their nationals from Afghanistan, said the attendee cited above.

Referring to challenges being faced in the evacuation of people from Kabul, Mr Shringla said there were incidents of frequent firing near the airport in the Afghan capital and in various parts of the city.

He said a number of security check-points have mushroomed in Kabul which were controlled by different militia groups and that access roads to the airport were choked with crowds who are desperate to leave the country.

In view of the imminent threat posed to the airport, NATO has blocked all the airport access gates and thousands of people were trying to enter the airport at the same time, he told the lawmakers.

It is learnt that he said at the meeting that since all the countries have started evacuations, the landing permissions at Kabul airport have become uncertain.

He also said that since India cannot use Pakistani airspace for overflying of the IAF aircraft, a long route had to be taken to Afghanistan and over-flight clearances at a very short notice had to be coordinated with relevant countries.

About the evacuation mission, he said a multi-agency team of the government of India personnel at the Kabul Airport coordinated with NATO and the US for landing permissions and access to the airport for people reaching it airport, said another attendee.

The foreign secretary said the India team is currently present at the Kabul airport for facilitation.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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1 Crore Jabs Till 1:30 PM. On PM’s Birthday, Government Aims At Record – dot newz

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The vaccination campaign is key to BJP’s three-week celebrations to mark PM’s birthday.

New Delhi:

As the government raced to deliver a vaccination record on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday today, the country clocked over 42,000 vaccinations a minute, a senior health official said. Vaccinations crossed one crore in the afternoon – for the fourth time in less than a month – setting up a milestone by the end of the day.

Aiming at 2 crore vaccinations as PM Modi turns 71, the government added a ticker to track Covid shots being given across the country.

“Celebrating the relentless efforts of India’s vaccinators against COVID-19, we have added a ticker to show vaccinations happening in near real-time. We are currently clocking over 42,000 vaccinations/minute or 700/second,” tweeted National Health Authority chief RS Sharma, sharing the new feature.

The vaccination campaign is key to the BJP’s three-week celebrations to mark the Prime Minister’s birthday.

“Let’s do #VaccineSeva and give him (PM Modi) birthday gift by getting vaccinated those who have not taken the dose so far,” Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had tweeted yesterday, urging people to get the shots.

To achieve its target, the BJP had prepped health volunteers “to ensure that the maximum number of people get their COVID-19 vaccines on the day”.

In recent days, India has reported more than one crore Covid shots in a day more than once.

Senior BJP leaders say the party wants to see the day “recorded in history” as one that saw a record number of Covid vaccines given.

By noon, over 94,00,000 vaccinations had been achieved. PM Modi’s home state Gujarat had crossed five lakh doses, more than the daily doses in the last seven days.

By afternoon, Bihar had given Covid shots to 7.3 lakh people, three times more than the average of the last three days. Madhya Pradesh was at more than 5 lakh doses – 75 per cent of the last two days’ average.





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Under-Construction Flyover Collapses In Mumbai’s Bandra, 14 Injured – dot newz

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The under-construction flyover collapsed at about 4.40am.

At least 14 people were injured after a portion of an under-construction flyover collapsed in Bandra Kurla Complex in Maharashtra’s Mumbai today. The injured were taken to the VN Desai Hospital and their condition is stable, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said.

The flyover collapsed at about 4.40am.

Visuals shared by news agency ANI showed police personnel and fire departments on the spot as the rescue work is underway.

There has been no loss of life and no person is missing due to the collapse, Deputy Commissioner Of Police Manjunath Singe told news agency ANI.

The flyover is located at MTNL junction in suburban Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) and will connect the complex’s main road and Santa Cruz- Chembur link road. The construction work of the flyover is being undertaken by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).

Further details related to the flyover’s collapse are awaited.





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On PM Modi’s 71st Birthday, President Kovind, BJP Leaders Extend Wishes – dot newz

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Today marks the 71st birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi turned 71 on Friday as President Ram Nath Kovind and other dignitaries and politicians greeted him with BJP leaders hailing his leadership.

Wishing him a long and healthy life, President Kovind said may he continue to serve the nation with his spirit of relentless service.

Home Minister Amit Shah lauded Modi, saying he not only gave the country the idea to think ahead of time and fulfil its resolve with hardwork but also made it a reality.

In PM Modi, the country has got a strong and decisive leader who gave a dignified life to those who were deprived of their rights for decades, he said.

PM Modi brought them in the mainstream of development, Mr Shah added.

The prime minister has shown the world what people-loving leadership is like, he said.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said PM Modi has written many new chapters in development and good governance in his tenure so far and wished that he fulfil his dream of making India a strong, prosperous and proud country.

Born in Gujarat in 1950, PM Modi joined Hindutva organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) at an early age and was later drafted into the BJP.

Made Gujarat chief minister in 2001, PM Modi has never suffered an electoral setback when votes were cast on his leadership, leading the BJP to power in the state for three consecutive terms and then at the Centre back to back in 2014 and 2019.

The BJP embarked on a mega 20-day public outreach, “Seva and Samarpan”, from Friday to mark his 71st birthday and it will continue till October 7 to also commemorate his 20 years in public life, including as Gujarat chief minister.

It has asked its workers to facilitate the COVID-19 vaccination drive as it eyes record-breaking numbers on Friday.





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