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Afghan embassy in India announces shut down of operations

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New Delhi: The Afghanistan Embassy here announced Saturday night that it is ceasing its operations from October 1, citing a “lack of support from the host government”, failure to meet expectations in serving Afghanistan’s interests, and reduction in personnel and resources.
In a statement, the Afghanistan Embassy in New Delhi said it regrets announcing the decision to cease its operations, effective October 1, 2023.
“It is with profound sadness, regret, and disappointment that the Embassy of Afghanistan in New Delhi announces this decision to cease its operations,” the statement said.
The embassy said that this decision, while deeply regrettable, was made after careful consideration, taking into account the historic ties and long-standing partnership between Afghanistan and India.
The embassy statement also listed key factors affecting its ability to continue the mission effectively and said that they were the primary reasons for the “unfortunate closure”.
The embassy cited a “lack of support from the host government”, alleging that it has experienced a notable absence of crucial support from the host government, which it said hindered its ability to carry out duties effectively.
The mission also cited “failure to meet expectations in serving Afghanistan’s interests” as one of the reasons.
“We acknowledge our shortcomings in meeting the expectations and requirements necessary to serve the best interests of Afghanistan and its citizens due to the lack of diplomatic support in India and the absence of a legitimate functioning government in Kabul,” the mission said. It also said that due to unforeseen and unfortunate circumstances, there has been a significant reduction in both personnel and resources available to it, making it increasingly challenging to continue operations.
“The lack of timely and sufficient support from visa renewal for diplomats to other critical areas of cooperation led to an understandable frustration among our team and impeded our ability to carry out routine duties effectively,” the statement said.
Given these circumstances, “it is with deep regret that we have taken the difficult decision to close all operations of the mission with the exception of emergency consular services to Afghan citizens till the transfer of the custodial authority of the mission to the host country,” it said.
The embassy has been headed by Ambassador Farid Mamundzay.
Mamundzay was appointed by the previous Ashraf Ghani government and he has been operating as the Afghan envoy even after the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in August 2021.
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 erupted after Qadir Shah, who was working as a trade councillor 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.

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