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Internal matter: MEA on power struggle in Afghan embassy

On May 15, the Afghan embassy said there is no change in its leadership following reports that Shah was appointed by the Taliban
Last Updated : 02 June 2023, 13:53 IST

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As the Afghan embassy in Delhi reels under a power struggle after the Taliban appointed a diplomat to head the mission in place of the incumbent, India on Friday said it is an "internal matter" of the embassy.

"From our perspective, this is an internal matter of the Afghan embassy and we hope that they would resolve it internally," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said when asked about a question on the matter.

Ambassador Farid Mamundzay Mamundzay, who was appointed by the previous Ashraf Ghani government, has been operating as the Afghan envoy even after the Taliban came to power in August 2021.

However, the Taliban in April appointed Qadir Shah to head the mission. Shah has been working as a trade councillor at the Afghan embassy since 2020.

When Mamundzay was on a visit abroad, Shah tried to take charge of the embassy as the charge d'affaires late last month, but his attempt was stalled by other diplomats at the mission, people familiar with the matter said.

On May 15, the Afghan embassy said there is no change in its leadership following reports that Shah was appointed by the Taliban as the charge d'affaires to head the mission replacing incumbent Mamundzay.

"The embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan categorically rejects the claims from an individual claiming to have taken charge of the mission in New Delhi at the behest of the Taliban," the embassy headed by Mamundzay had said in a statement.

People familiar with the matter said Shah wrote a letter to the MEA requesting recognition when Mamundzay was travelling abroad.

In June last year, India re-established its diplomatic presence in Kabul by deploying a "technical team" to its embassy in the Afghan capital.

India had withdrawn its officials from the embassy after the Taliban seized power following concerns over their security.

It is learnt that the Taliban, on multiple occasions, communicated to New Delhi that the diplomats in the Afghan embassy in India do not represent Kabul any longer and made around 14 attempts to remove the ambassador from the embassy in the last over two years.

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Published 02 June 2023, 13:53 IST

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