After months of uncertainty, the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has finally decided to shut down its operation in India, this is informed through a press release on 1st October 2023 in which it is clearly stated that this is the last working day of the embassy in New Delhi. However, the emergency consular services will remain available for Afghan citizens till the transfer of custodial authority of the embassy to the host country.
Image Source – Sputnik India
Rumors or Reality?
Sources claim that this decision is a result of a power struggle that was underway at the Afghan Embassy in Delhi as Ambassador Farid Mamundzay, appointed by the previous Afghanistan government, was fighting to stay on in office in defiance of Qadir Shah, who was working as a trade councilor at the embassy since 2020, wrote to the MEA in late April claiming that he was appointed as the charge d’affaires at the embassy by the Taliban Government.
However the Embassy officials rejected reports that claimed that Taliban Government has appointed new Ambassador.
Another source maintains that the reason behind the embassy shutting down its all operations in India is that the ambassadors and other senior diplomats from the government before the Taliban have left India, there is a steady departure of diplomats to third countries for seeking asylum.
However, the embassy rejected all such statements as mere rumors and said that it would address all rising speculations and rumors and provide clarity to the citizens on matters of Importance.
In the three-page press release, the embassy officials rejected all baseless claims on matters of internal strife or discord amongst its diplomatic staff or any diplomats using the crisis to seek asylum in other countries. Officials argue that we remain united as a team working for the betterment of Afghanistan and these rumors do not reflect any sort of reality.
Image Source- Hindustan Times
Reasons for this Unfortunate Closure of Afghanistan Embassy
In the press release, officials stated that it was a profound sadness, deep regret, and disappointment for the Afghanistan embassy to announce its decision to cease all operations in New Delhi, but they took this step after careful consideration, considering the historic ties and long-standing partnership between Afghanistan and India.
Embassy Officials cited the challenges they were facing in effectively carrying out their functions, the primary reason for this unfortunate closure were a shortage of both personnel and resource available and they argued that support was not timely and sufficient.
Moreover they were facing problems on matter of visa renewal for diplomats to other critical areas of cooperation which led to frustration among our team and notable absence of crucial support from the host country hindered our ability and made it harder for the embassy to carry out routine duties effectively.
They cited some major lack of support from the host Government and this led to failure to meet the expectation of serving Afghanistan’s interests, there was also the absence of Diplomatic support in India and a legitimate functioning government in Kabul.
Image Source – Sputnik India
What India Has to Say in This Matter?
Foreign diplomats in India argue that although India does not officially recognize the Taliban government in Afghanistan, it has still permitted the Afghan embassy to continue its operations within India. Under the ambassador and mission staff appointed by the former Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, who fled Kabul in 2021.
The Indian foreign minister officials in New Delhi said that Afghanistan officials were looking into developments without sharing any details with Indians, Taliban officials in Kabul were also not available for information and comments.
As the embassy closes down all its property and resources will be transferred to the custodial authority of the host country. As mentioned in Article 45 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961.