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The Afghan Embassy says it’s permanently closing in New Delhi over challenges from India

by Chloe Baker
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Afghan Embassy Closure New Delhi

The Embassy of Afghanistan in New Delhi has announced its permanent closure, citing ongoing difficulties with the Indian government and the lack of diplomatic support. This closure, effective from Thursday, follows an earlier decision to halt operations from October 1 due to the absence of an internationally recognized government in Kabul. Initially, the embassy had planned to continue offering emergency consular services for Afghan citizens.

Previously, the embassy had hoped that the stance of the Indian government would shift positively, allowing the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in New Delhi to operate normally. However, in the subsequent eight weeks, the embassy confronted a challenging situation, facing continuous pressure from both the Taliban and the Indian government, which ultimately led to the decision to close.

The Indian External Affairs Ministry has not issued a statement regarding this development. India has withheld recognition of the Taliban regime, which came into power in Afghanistan in August 2021. Following the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan two years ago, India evacuated its diplomatic staff from Kabul and has since maintained no diplomatic presence in Afghanistan. India’s position on recognizing the Taliban government aligns with that of the United Nations.

Previously, the Afghan Embassy in New Delhi operated under the authorization of the Indian government, with staff appointed by the former Afghan government led by President Ashraf Ghani.

In its latest statement, the embassy disclosed that there are currently no diplomats from the Afghan Republic in India. The personnel who served at the embassy have safely relocated to third countries. The statement also noted that the remaining diplomats in India are affiliated with the Taliban, and the embassy premises have been transferred to the Indian government’s control. The decision on whether to keep the embassy closed or explore other options, such as transferring it to Taliban-affiliated diplomats, now lies with the Indian government.

According to the U.N. refugee agency, Afghans represent about one-third of the nearly 40,000 refugees registered in India, not counting those registered through other organizations. The embassy noted a significant decline in the Afghan community in India over the past two years, with refugees, students, and others leaving the country. Since August 2021, the Afghan population in India has almost halved, and visa issuance during this period was severely limited.

In 2022, India extended humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, including wheat, medicine, COVID-19 vaccines, and winter clothing, to support the struggling Afghan economy ravaged by conflict and on the brink of collapse.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Afghan Embassy Closure New Delhi

Why has the Afghan Embassy in New Delhi closed permanently?

The Afghan Embassy in New Delhi announced its permanent closure due to ongoing challenges with the Indian government and the lack of diplomatic support, following the absence of an internationally recognized government in Kabul.

What led to the decision to close the Afghan Embassy in New Delhi?

The decision came after the embassy initially ceased operations on October 1, hoping for a favorable change in the Indian government’s stance. However, continuous pressure from both the Taliban and the Indian government over control of the embassy led to its closure.

Has the Indian government commented on the closure of the Afghan Embassy?

As of the latest information, there has been no immediate comment from India’s External Affairs Ministry regarding the closure of the Afghan Embassy in New Delhi.

What is the status of diplomatic relations between India and the Taliban-controlled Afghanistan?

India has not recognized the Taliban government, which seized power in Afghanistan in August 2021. India’s stance on recognizing the Taliban government aligns with that of the United Nations, and it currently maintains no diplomatic presence in Afghanistan.

What has happened to the staff of the Afghan Embassy in New Delhi?

The staff, appointed by the previous government of ousted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, have safely reached third countries. Currently, there are no diplomats from the Afghan Republic in India, with only Taliban-affiliated diplomats present.

What will happen to the Afghan Embassy building in New Delhi?

The embassy building has been handed over to the Indian government, which now has to decide whether to maintain its closure or consider alternatives, including possibly handing it over to Taliban-affiliated diplomats.

How has the Afghan community in India been affected in recent years?

The Afghan community in India has significantly declined over the past two years, with the number of refugees, students, and others from Afghanistan almost halving since August 2021. Visa issuance during this period was also very limited.

What humanitarian aid has India provided to Afghanistan in 2022?

In 2022, India sent Afghanistan relief materials, including wheat, medicine, COVID-19 vaccines, and winter clothes, to assist with shortages in the war-devastated Afghan economy.

More about Afghan Embassy Closure New Delhi

  • Afghan Embassy Closure in New Delhi
  • India’s Stance on Taliban Government
  • Afghan Diplomatic Staff Relocation
  • India’s Humanitarian Aid to Afghanistan
  • Decline of Afghan Community in India

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