Govt to assess safety of Nepalis working in Afghanistan

Published On: June 23, 2016 12:18 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

NA flight to bring back bodies
KATHMANDU, June 21: The government is sending a Nepal Airlines plane to Kabul to bring back the bodies of Nepali citizens who died in a suicide bomb attack in the Afghan capital on Monday.

"Following the prime minister's order, a process to send a special flight of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) to Kabul has been started. As soon as we get landing and over-flight permission from the concerned countries, a plane would leave for Kabul," said Bharat Paudel, the spokesperson at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

According to an NAC source, Airbus A-3-200 will fly to Kabul on early Wednesday morning.

According to MoFA spokesperson, other Nepali citizens who wish to come back home in the same flight will also be accommodated in the plane to the possible extent.

Organizing a press conference Tuesday evening, Paudel informed that the ministry has already sent Tirtha Raj Aryal, Nepal's acting ambassador to Pakistan, to Kabul and he has been coordinating with the hospitals and Afghan authorities for medical evacuation of the injured Nepalis as well as for bringing the dead bodies to Nepal.

According to Paudel, a meeting of ministers and high level officials and security officers was held under the coordination of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Kamal Thapa Tuesday afternoon to coordinate the rescue operations.

"A team will go to Kabul to bring the dead bodies in the special flight. The team includes a four-member medical team of Nepal Army, three from Nepal Police, and one official each from Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Employment Division," said Paudel.

"After bringing the dead bodies in Nepal, Ministry of Home Affairs will coordinate with victims' families to handover the bodies," he added.

Two injured airlifted to Delhi

Meanwhile, two Nepalis injured in the attack have been already airlifted to the Indian capital New Delhi for further treatment.

"Among the seven injured, Krishna Bahadur Deuja and Man Bahadur Thapa were airlifted to New Delhi. They will remain under treatment at the Apollo Hospitals," informed Paudel.

According to him, three others will be airlifted to the Indian capital soon. "One of the injured Nepalis, Chyangba Tamang, is in serious condition. If doctors give permission for medical evacuation, other three, including Tamang, will be airlifted to Delhi on Wednesday," he said.      

DPM Thapa talks to Afghan counterpart

According to Paudel, DPM and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa spoke to Afghan foreign minister and raised the security concerns of other Nepalis working in Afghanistan. "The Afghan government has assured us that it will work to ensure the security of other Nepali citizens," said Paudel.

"We are setting our priorities. We are concerned about the treatment of the injured, bringing the dead bodies to Nepal and the safety of other Nepalis in Kabul," he added.

Paudel said that acting ambassador to Pakistan, Tirtha Raj Aryal, has been asked to study the security lapses as well as precautions taken to ferry the security guards from their apartments to the Canadian Embassy.

Suicide bomber had targeted a minibus which was carrying security guards serving at the Canadian embassy in Kabul as they were deployed there by Sabre Security, an Afghan company. At least 12 Nepalis and two others were killed and seven were injured in the suicide attack.

Govt to discuss with stakeholders

According to Paudel, the government will hold a broad discussion among the stakeholders on the situation of migrant workers in Afghanistan after the rescue.

"The government will obviously discuss about the migrant workers in Afghanistan. We have found that Nepalis have reached Afghanistan through formal procedure of acquiring government permission as well as through informal ways. Following a serious discussion, we can take action against recruiting agencies," said Paudel.

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