Afghanistan is closing its 22-year diplomatic post in India permanently. This has come as a shock to many but was expected as well.
WFY Bureau New Delhi: Citing “persistent challenges from the Indian government,” the Afghanistan embassy said on Friday that it would be permanently closing its diplomatic office in New Delhi. The decision, which takes effect on November 23, comes after the embassy’s previous plan to close on September 30, 2023.
The 22-year history of the Afghan Republic’s diplomatic presence in India has come to an end as all of its diplomats have departed, leaving the Indian government to decide the mission’s future.
The Afghan embassy made the following formal statement regarding the decision: “Due to ongoing issues with the Indian government, effective November 23, 2023, the decision comes after the embassy had already stopped operations on September 30 in the hopes that the Indian government’s position would shift in a way that would allow the mission to continue as usual.”
The embassy stated that the decision was the consequence of broader policy and interest shifts but accepted that it may be perceived as an internal conflict.
“To the Afghan citizens in India, the Embassy extends its sincere gratitude for their understanding and support throughout our mission’s tenure,” it continued. The Afghan embassy stressed its unwavering efforts towards the community’s well-being despite facing limitations in authority and resources, especially given the lack of a recognised government in Kabul.
Since August 2021, the population of Afghans in India has decreased by about half due to the departure of numerous refugees, students, and traders and the issuance of very few new visas. “We assure the Afghan community that the mission operated with transparency, accountability, and a commitment to fair treatment based on the goodwill and interests of Afghanistan, considering historic ties and bilateral relations with India,” it stated.
Sadly, attempts have been made to damage our reputation and obstruct diplomatic operations in an attempt to defend the employment and presence of diplomats nominated by and linked with the Taliban. The statement from the Afghan embassy continued, “In the face of these obstacles, our dedicated team laboured hard under extremely trying conditions, putting the needs of the 40 million Afghans first in every area, from obtaining humanitarian aid and online education scholarships to facilitating ease in trade and pushing for the establishment of a broad-based government.”
The Afghan embassy emphasised that it was committed to standing up for the interests of the Afghan people and that it used its diplomatic power to put pressure on those who were impeding the establishment of an inclusive government and denying millions of girls the opportunity to receive an education.
According to the statement, the Afghan Republic’s diplomats stationed in the nation’s capital have been transferred to third countries, meaning that there are currently no diplomats representing the Afghan Republic in India. Remarkably, the Taliban maintains the only surviving diplomatic presence in India.
The press release continued by stating that the Afghan Republic’s diplomats had formally turned over the mission to the Indian government. The Indian government will now decide what will happen to the mission: will it remain closed or look into other options?
“We have carefully weighed the historical occurrences and the present situation before coming to this determination. We also want to express our sincere gratitude to the Indian people for their 22 years of aid and support for Afghanistan. The statement added, “We reaffirm our dedication to serve the people of Afghanistan and will keep looking for ways to help our country in these trying times.
The Taliban’s 2021 coup of the previous administration was blamed for the embassy’s financial difficulties, which led to the suspension of operations on October 1. Additionally, it denounced some consulates for supporting an illegal government.
(with agency contributions)