Jaishankar Recalls Kabul Evacuation, Says ‘PM Modi Called Past Midnight’ To Enquire

Union Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, who is in New York, recalls a conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi about an incident near the Indian Consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, news agency ANI reported.

“To handle the consequences of very big decisions is a singular quality,” the Union Minister said, lauding PM Modi and praising his crisis management.

Highlighting that PM Modi “starts his day at 7:30 am… and carries on, and does not drop, while others might,” Jaishankar said.

Remembering his first meeting with PM Modi, Foreign Minister stated: “I frankly liked Mr Modi before I met Mr Modi. I am on some levels, as many would complain, a micromanager. I can be quiet a pain. But the level of preparation he had done was commendable.”

Leaving politics aside, he stated that PM Modi emphasised the need of adhering to national policy.  “He also asks what should I not say, apart from talking about what he should say. He also seeks feedback,” he adds. 

In a video posted by news agency ANI, the minister can be heard stating while detailing another event from Afghanistan. “It was past midnight, and our consulate in the Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, was under attack. And we were using phones, trying to figure out what happened,” he said. 

“All of this was happening and you’re juggling phones, trying to keep everybody updated. And then, my phone rang. When the prime minister calls, there is no caller ID. His first question was – Jaage ho? (Are you awake?),” the foreign minister further said. 

In humour, S Jaishankar stated: “At 12:30 of course, what else would I be doing? In his life, it must be normal. And then he said – ‘Accha, TV dekh rahe ho?’ (Are you watching television).”

The foreign minister then recalled providing updates to Prime Minister Modi and informing him that “help is on its way.”

 “And then he said – Accha jab khatam ho jayega, mujhe phone kar dena. (When it all ends, call me)’. I told him that it might take a couple of more hours and that I would call up at his office. To this, he responded – ‘Mujhe phone kar dena’ (Call me please),” he said. 

(With Inputs From ANI)

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