KABUL (Pajhwok): The Afghan Embassy in New Delhi has announced closing the mission after the end of the tenure of diplomats and handed over the embassy to the Indian government.
But two other diplomats say they have taken over the leadership of the embassy.
In a statement, the embassy in New Delhi said: “The Afghan embassy in New Delhi regrets to announce permanent closure of its diplomatic mission in New Delhi with effect from November 23, 2023, owing to persistent challenges from the Indian government.”
This decision follows the embassy’s earlier cessation of operations on 30th of September, a move made in the hope that the Indian government’s stance would evolve favorably for normal continuation of the embassy.
“Unfortunately, despite an eight-week long wait, the objectives of visa extension for diplomats and a shift in the Indian government’s conduct were not realized. Given the constant pressure from both the Islamic Emirate and the Indian government to relinquish control, the embassy faced a difficult choice,” the statement added.
In this challenging time for Afghanistan, where millions are suffering from poverty and socio-economic and political exclusion, the Embassy implores the Indian government to consider the following requests:
First, under the provisions of the Vienna Convention of 1961 (Article 45), the Embassy respectfully calls upon the Ministry of External Affairs to fulfill its obligations and responsibilities concerning assuming custodial responsibility of the Afghan diplomatic mission properties, bank accounts, vehicles and all other assets located in New Delhi on urgent basis.
A detailed list of assets in 110 pages has already been shared with the Ministry of External Affairs, including details of approximately $500,000 in the bank accounts of the mission, the source added.
“As of now, there are no diplomats from the Afghan Republic remaining in India. Those who served the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan have safely reached third countries. The only individuals present in India are diplomats affiliated with the Taliban, visibly attending their regular online meetings.”
According to the statement, the diplomats have handed over the mission solely to the Indian government and it rests upon the Indian government to decide the fate of the mission. Or “Weather to maintain its closure or consider alternatives, including the possibility of handing it over to Taliban “diplomats.”
This statement was also shared by Afghan ambassador in India Farid Mamondzai on his X handle.
On the other hand, the Consul General of Afghanistan in Mumbai Zakia Wardak and acting consul general in Hyderabad Sayed Mohammad Ibrahimkhel have announced assuming the leadership of the Afghan embassy in New Delhi, Wardak wrote on her X handle.
In a statement, both diplomats said: “We assured Afghan nationals based in India that the embassy of Afghanistan in New Delhi continues to function as usual and that there will be no disruption in provision of consular services.”
“We urge everyone to kindly ignore and disregard the unprofessional and irresponsible communications issued by the former Afghan diplomats who are based abroad and therefore, now onwards, have no locus standi in the internal affairs of Afghan embassy in New Delhi, such random, fraudulent, baseless and factually incorrect communications are creating panic, distrust and negativity in the overall functioning of the embassy, as well as amongst the Afghan nationals such communications do not represent the wish of all Afghans.”
The statement added: “We are in constant touch with the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India and trying to address the current difficult situation wherein most of our former embassy colleagues have received asylum and left India, therefore, we are facing shortage of diplomatic and official staff.”
However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul and Indian government have so far said nothing in this regard.