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Initial panic over, Keralites now toy with staying back in Afghanistan

Some made investments there over the years, others have their own plans, says Norka officer

Published: 26th August 2021 03:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th August 2021 03:27 AM   |  A+A-

In this Aug. 19, 2021, file photo, Taliban fighters patrol in Kabul, Afghanistan.

In this Aug. 19, 2021, file photo, Taliban fighters patrol in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Photo | AP)

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After the first phase of the evacuation of panic-stricken and stranded Keralites from the war-torn Afghanistan, Malayalis and and even people from other states in the country have started  toying with the idea of staying back there in the wake of signs of easing tension in Kabul and neighbouring provinces. A senior officer in the NoRKA Roots, the field agency of Department of Non-Resident Keralites, said,

“Soon after the situation in Afghanistan turned worse, we formed a WhatsApp group with the idea of bringing all stranded Indians onto the platform to share information along with assessing the ground situation there.

“But after the initial frenzied calls to evacuate, members of the group now are planning to stay back due to various reasons. Some have made investments there over the years while others have their own plans. Around 20 people in the group, mostly South Indians, are not ready to register for evacuation after repeated messages in the group urging them to make up their mind.”

When contacted, CEO of NoRKA Roots Harikrishnan Namboothiri K said, “It is true some have made investments in critical sectors like fruit export. It seems they have their own plan to exit the country if the situation slips further. Even a few people who reached here as part of the evacuation are planning to return once situation improves there,” he said.

All people who prefer to stay back there are white-collared employees. Interestingly, some who reached here are not ready to reveal their identities as they have plans to go back. The evacuees were mainly from Kabul and there are Indians in cities like Kandahar. In the first phase, the stranded Indians were brought to hotels at designated places from where they were taken to the airport as part of evacuation.

There are multiple groups there now and designated leaders for each group. They have been told to register with the embassy if they are desperate to return to the country.  There are no figures available with the state government on the number of Keralites brought back to the country as part of evacuation. It is estimated that around 30 Keralites were evacuated.

White-collared employees don’t want to leave
All people who prefer to stay back there are white-collared employees. Some who reached here are not ready to reveal their identities as they have plans to go back. The evacuees were mainly from Kabul and there are Indians in cities like Kandahar. Though the state government does not have any official figures, It is estimated that around 30 Keralites were evacuated.



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