HomeTrendingAfghan embassy in India shuts down

Afghan embassy in India shuts down

On Sunday, more than two years after the Taliban seized control of Kabul after the Western-backed Ashraf Ghani administration fell, the Afghan embassy in India ceased all activities.

“It is with profound sadness, regret, and disappointment that the Embassy of Afghanistan in New Delhi announces this decision to cease its operations,” read an unsigned statement issued by the embassy.

The Taliban are urging India to assign their own envoy here to handle relations with India since the Afghanistan embassy in Delhi has been essentially closed. India hasn’t formally acknowledged the Kabul government, but it reopened its embassy last year and has cooperated with regional leaders.

The statement claimed that maintaining operations had become “increasingly challenging” due to staff and resource reductions, including a “lack of timely and sufficient support from visa renewal for diplomats.”

The decision to close came as a result of rumours that the ambassador and other senior officials had just left India due to squabbling among those who remained in New Delhi.

Key elements affecting the embassy’s capacity to carry out the mission successfully were stated in the statement.

Lack of support

The embassy highlighted a “lack of support from the host government”, stating that it had encountered a noteworthy absence of vital help from the host government, which it claimed impeded its capacity to perform tasks properly.

The Taliban regime in Afghanistan is recognised as the de facto rulers by the majority of international countries, including India.

Due to diplomats designated by the former government’s refusal to hand up control of embassy buildings and property to representatives chosen by the Taliban leadership, several Afghan embassies and consulates are currently in a state of limbo.

In addition, the mission listed “failure to meet expectations in serving Afghanistan’s interests” as one of its reasons.

“We acknowledge our shortcomings in meeting the expectations and requirements necessary to serve the best interests of Afghanistan and its citizens due to the lack of diplomatic support in India and the absence of a legitimate functioning government in Kabul,” the mission said.

 

Shortage of staff

The statement added that the organization’s personnel and resource availability had been significantly reduced as a result of unanticipated and tragic events, making it more difficult to carry out activities.

“The lack of timely and sufficient support from visa renewal for diplomats to other critical areas of cooperation led to an understandable frustration among our team and impeded our ability to carry out routine duties effectively,” the statement said.

But the embassy said in its statement that it “categorically refutes any baseless claims regarding internal strife” among staff, and denied any diplomats were “using the crisis to seek asylum in a third country”.

Given these circumstances, “it is with deep regret that we have taken the difficult decision to close all operations of the mission with the exception of emergency consular services to Afghan citizens till the transfer of the custodial authority of the mission to the host country,” it said.

The embassy was being headed by Ambassador Farid Mamundzay.

 

Afghan embassies In limbo

In August 2021, as the Taliban drew near the Afghan capital, India evacuated its entire mission from Kabul. However, last year, India sent a tiny staff back to rebuild its expansive embassy.

About a dozen Afghan embassies abroad, including those in Pakistan, China, Turkey, and Iran, are completely under the control of the Taliban.

 

Others use a hybrid approach, where the embassy personnel continues to do ordinary consular tasks including issuing visas and other paperwork notwithstanding the absence of the ambassador.

Italian police were called to the Afghanistan embassy in Rome in January of last year when fights broke out after a junior diplomat claimed he had been chosen by the Taliban’s authorities to succeed an ambassador who was loyal to the former administration.

Due to the closure of the Afghanistan embassy in Delhi, the Taliban are urging India to appoint a local diplomat to manage relations with India.

Although India reopened its embassy in Kabul last year and collaborated with local officials to distribute humanitarian help, it hasn’t formally recognised the regime in Kabul.