Afghans crowding Hamid Karzai International Airport (L), and people clinging on to the underbelly of a C-17 Globemaster falling down (video grab), in Kabul, Monday.
KATHMANDU: A total of 164 Nepali migrant workers have returned home from Afghanistan, which was recaptured by the Taliban after 20 years.
As the Taliban began occupying one provincial capital after another, Nepali workers began to leave Afghanistan.
Chief of Immigration at the Tribhuvan International Airport, Sushil Baidya, said that 164 Nepalis and two Afghan nationals have arrived in Nepal in a period of 10 days.
The rescue of more Nepali workers began on Sunday after the Taliban took full control of the capital city, Kabul. Three hundred and eighty-five Nepalis working at the US Embassy in Kabul have been flown to Doha, the capital of Qatar, by a special US military ship on Monday. A total of 335 people were rescued on Monday afternoon after 50 people were flown to Doha on Sunday. Some of them are returning home today (Tuesday).
According to foreign sources, the British government has also rescued 87 Nepalis working at the British embassy. “We have received written information that the British government will send them to Nepal,” an official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
“The process of rescuing the Nepalis has begun. We will make them public as soon as they arrive in Nepal,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Sewa Lamsal said Monday evening. ‘
Four hundred and seventy Nepalis working in UN Agencies, UNHCR, IOM and other agencies are also awaiting rescue. They are staying at a hotel in Kabul.
A US Air Force plane is also preparing to rescue 60 Nepalis working at the Canadian embassy and more than 60 Nepalis working at the German embassy.
Foreign Secretary Bharatraj Poudyal is coordinating diplomatic missions in Kathmandu and Ram Prasad Subedi, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Nepalese Embassy in Delhi.
The premises of embassies of different countries and international organizations in Kabul are called Green Zone. Most Nepalis are in the green zone.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Bal Krishna Khad has instructed the officials of various government bodies to take all measures to repatriate Nepalis from Kabul.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 134 Nepalis have registered their details on the web portal of the Department of Consular Services till 6 pm on Monday. According to the Ministry, 1,500 Nepali workers are working in Afghanistan.
Those who go illegally are at risk
While the government has made public the fact that there are only 1,500 Nepali workers in Afghanistan, the Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies(NAFEA) has stated that the number is 15,000.