Afghanistan embassy announces shutdown citing lack of MEA support

Afghanistan embassy announces shutdown citing lack of MEA support

The Embassy had seen infighting between Taliban nominee and Ambassador appointed by Ghani Government 

Two years after the Taliban took over Kabul, the Afghanistan Embassy to India informed the government that it was being forced to close down, given the lack of resources with the Taliban regime and blamed the Indian Government for not supporting it despite several requests.

While the Ambassador appointed by the previous Ghani Government, Farid Mamundzay, has been in London for several months, most of the other diplomats in the mission have received asylum in several Western countries including the U.S., Canada and Australia. 

The decision, which was conveyed in an unsigned Note Verbale to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) this week, indicated the Embassy would close at the end of September. In particular, the note said that New Delhi had refused several request letters, asking for assistance as well as visas for about 3,000 Afghan students who were due to travel to India in 2021, but had not been given travel papers.

The note also suggested that after India opened its mission in Kabul in June 2022, the Afghan Embassy that pledged loyalty to the previous Islamic Republic of Afghanistan had not been accorded “diplomatic regard and friendly considerations”.

It also asked India to assume safe custody of Afghan deposits in India and the India-Afghanistan Fund under the Vienna Convention protocol for diplomatic relations, while facilitating remaining diplomats and their families to leave via exit permits.

The letter also requests that the Afghan tricolour be allowed to fly over the mission, which represents the democratic government of Afghanistan that was ousted by the Taliban regime, which is not formally recognised by any country thus far.

The MEA declined to comment officially on reports about the Note Verbale, which The Hindu has seen the text of. Sources said its “authenticity” was being examined given that the Ambassador and diplomats have reportedly left for “third countries” .

The sources also pointed to infighting “among Embassy personnel” in reference to an attempt by the Taliban regime to appoint its own Ambassador in Delhi in April 2023, which was rebuffed by Mr. Mamundzay and other staff members.

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