Afghanistan announces permanent closure of embassy in India

The statement also acknowledged that handing over the property to India is in the “best interest of Afghanistan”

November 24, 2023 10:39 am | Updated 12:25 pm IST - New Delhi

The Indian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. File

The Indian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Effective from 23 November, the Embassy of Afghanistan has permanently closed down, a statement from the mission announced on Friday. The embassy blamed both the Taliban rulers in Kabul as well as the Government of India for pressuring it to stop operations in India permanently. The embassy had stopped functioning on September 30 when the senior Afghan diplomats and the ambassador representing the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan left India.

“Unfortunately, despite an eight-week wait, the objectives of visa extension for diplomats and a shift in the Indian government’s conduct were not realised. Given the constant pressure from both the Taliban and the Indian government to relinquish control, the embassy faced a difficult choice,” an official statement from the mission said.

However, the statement also acknowledged that handing over the property to India is in the “best interest of Afghanistan.” The mission said that it is now for the Indian authorities to decide on the future course of action of the Afghan Embassy. “The responsibility of diplomats appointed by the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has officially come to an end,” the official declaration informed.

The statement further alleged that there are some Afghan diplomats who are affiliated with the Taliban dispensation in Kabul who have tried to “tarnish” the image of the Afghan diplomats in India. With the permanent closure of the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the diplomatic presence of the pre-Taliban regime in Afghanistan has come to an end.

India has not recognised the Taliban administration in Kabul and it has not restarted full-scale diplomatic activities at its embassy in Kabul after closing it in August 2021. The permanent closure of the embassy of Afghanistan will create a challenging situation for traders and travellers who want to apply for Afghan visas. That apart, it also severs the formal link that India had with the ruling elite of the previous government headed by Dr. Ashraf Ghani.

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