Afghan embassy in India shuts down citing lack of support, Taliban pressure

In September, however, the ambassador and senior staff left for Europe and the US to seek asylum, and the embassy said it was suspending operations.
Last Updated : 24 November 2023, 03:12 IST

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New Delhi: Afghanistan's embassy in New Delhi has closed as diplomats appointed by the Afghan government ousted by the Taliban two years ago failed to secure visa extensions from their Indian hosts, the outgoing ambassador said in a statement on Friday.

India does not recognise the Taliban government which seized power in 2021, and had allowed Ambassador Farid Mamundzay and mission staff to stay in place, issuing visas and handling trade matters.

In September, however, the ambassador and senior staff left for Europe and the US to seek asylum, and the embassy said it was suspending operations.

An embassy statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Friday said that period in limbo was over, and the embassy was shutting and the keys had been given to the host government.

It also said that pressure from both the Indian government and the Taliban had forced the decision.

"Unfortunately, despite an eight-week wait, the objectives of visa extension for diplomats and a shift in the Indian government's conduct were not realised," ambassador Mamundzay said in the statement.

"Given the constant pressure from both the Taliban and the Indian government to relinquish control, the embassy faced a difficult choice," the statement added.

Afghan diplomats in India appointed by Ghani's government have reached third countries and there are none remaining in India, the embassy  statement said.

"The only individuals present in India are diplomats affiliated with the Taliban, visibly attending their regular online meetings," the statement said.

The statement made no mention of the status of the Afghan consulates in other cities, including Mumbai.

India's foreign ministry and the Taliban-run Afghan foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Published 24 November 2023, 03:12 IST

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