Afghan embassy in India halts operations; diplomats of pre-Taliban government leave
In April-May, the embassy was rocked by a power struggle in the wake of reports of the Taliban appointing a charge d’affaires to head the mission.
A view of the Afghanistan embassy in New Delhi, India. (ANI Photo)
THE embassy of Afghanistan in India has suspended all functioning after the country’s ambassador and other senior diplomats left New Delhi for Europe and the US where they got asylum, Reuters reported citing three embassy officials on Friday (29).
New Delhi doesn’t recognise the Taliban government in Kabul and shut its own embassy in the Afghan capital after the extremists stormed back to power in August 2021. However, India had permitted the ambassador and mission staff members that were appointed by the west-backed government of former president Ashraf Ghani which was ousted by the Taliban, to issue visas and handle trade issues.
At least five Afghan diplomats left India, the embassy officials added. The Reuters report cited Afghan officials as saying that the Indian government will take over the diplomatic compound on a care-taking basis.
An official of the Indian external affairs ministry in New Delhi said they were looking into the developments but did not give more details.
The Afghan embassy had been headed by Ambassador Farid Mamundzay and it is learnt that he is currently in London. Mamundzay was appointed by the Ghani government and he had been operating as the Afghan envoy even after the Taliban’s return to office two years ago.
The Afghan embassy in New Delhi has purportedly issued a communication on this issue, sources in the Indian government said on reports of the embassy closing down its operations, Press Trust of India reported.
In April-May, the embassy was rocked by a power struggle in the wake of reports of the Taliban appointing a charge d’affaires to head the mission, replacing Mamundzay. Following the episode, the embassy came out with a statement that there was no change in its leadership.
The tussle for power had started after Qadir Shah, who was working as a trade councillor at the embassy since 2020, wrote to the Indian external affairs ministry in late April claiming that he was appointed as the charge d’affaires at the embassy by the Taliban.
(With PTI inputs)