India evacuated all its India-based personnel from Kandahar on Saturday evening by special flight, as Taliban advanced into the city, amidst fighting and violence. The Indian mission is now manned only by the local Afghan staff who work for the Indian government. For the time being, the Mazar-e-Sharif consulate is still open, and with Indian personnel, but that may not be for too long as the Taliban sweep through the western part of Afghanistan. The Kabul embassy is the only one that is still fully functional with Indian personnel. The Indian ambassador to Afghanistan, Rudrendra Tandon discussed the deteriorating security situation with the new Afghan defense minister Bismillah Khan Mohammedi earlier this week. The Indian government on Thursday indicated that they were watching the situation “carefully” — and pulled out Indians on Saturday. India had already closed down its missions in Jalalabad and Herat in 2020, citing Covid, but it was clear that the security situation had played a part. Despite some overly optimistic assessments by the departing US military forces, the Afghan government security forces are collapsing with barely a fight. The Taliban too are playing a smarter game this time — by controlling and closing off the northern borders as well as on the Iranian side — to prevent the growth of any Northern Alliance-like formation to challenge them. Security sources here don’t give Afghanistan more than a few weeks, before Taliban control all of the country. At this point, the Islamist group control over 85 per cent of Afghanistan. Most other countries, from Australia to China as well as the NATO countries have all pulled out their personnel. The Afghan Taliban has activated its traditional support from among Pakistan’s terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba. Several IDs of Pakistan security forces have also been found, indicating they are fighting alongside the Taliban.