Two Indian nationals have been released from captivity in Afghanistan and returned home to India on Tuesday, the Indian Government has said.
The two Indian nationals released on July 31 were among a group of seven Indian engineers of a company working in Afghanistan's northern Baghlan province who were abducted in May, 2018, reportedly by the Taliban who apparently mistook them for government employees.
Of those seven Indian nationals, six are now free, New Delhi said, while thanking the Afghan Government for its “constant and unwavering support in securing the release of the Indians”. One Indian national had been freed in March last year while according to media reports, three others had been freed in October last year.
In a statement on Tuesday, the MEA said, “Two Indian nationals, who were released from captivity in Afghanistan on 31 July 2020, returned to India today. It would be recalled that seven Indian nationals were kidnapped in Afghanistan in May 2018, including the two who returned today. Six Indian nationals have now been released so far from captivity. We thank the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for their constant and unwavering support in securing the release of the Indians.”
It may also be recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Monday and had conveyed his Eid greetings. India has extremely close ties with Afghanistan under President Ghani.
In a statement earlier on Monday, the MEA had stated, “President Ghani thanked Prime Minister Modi for timely supply of food and medical assistance to meet Afghan requirement. The Prime Minister reiterated India's commitment to the people of Afghanistan in their quest for a peaceful, prosperous and inclusive Afghanistan. The two leaders also exchanged views on the evolving security situation in the region and other areas of mutual bilateral interest.”