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An Afghan national stands outside the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in New Delhi on September 29, 2023. (Photo by Arun SANKAR / AFP) (Photo by ARUN SANKAR/AFP via Getty Images)

Afghan Embassy in India announces permanent closure

AT News

KABUL – The Afghan embassy in India, led by an appointee of the pre-Taliban Ashraf Ghani government, has decided to cease its operations permanently. This decision comes as a result of financial constraints and a lack of support from the Indian government.

The embassy reportedly communicated this decision to India’s external affairs ministry earlier this week, as revealed in a note verbale (NV) circulating online. As of Friday night, the ministry has not issued an official statement regarding this development, but sources indicate that they are currently examining the authenticity of the communication and its contents.

Furthermore, it has come to light that Ambassador Farid Mamundzay has been absent from the country for an extended period of time, raising questions about the embassy’s leadership. There have also been reports of diplomats leaving for third countries, possibly after seeking asylum, and incidents of internal disputes among embassy personnel.

Since the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul in August 2021, India, like many other nations, severed diplomatic relations with Afghanistan. Currently, India maintains only a technical office at the Afghan mission.

Earlier this year, tensions arose within the mission in Delhi when Ambassador Mamundzay clashed with his deputy, Qurban Shah, who was appointed as charge d’affaires by the Taliban government. Ambassador Mamundzay, then in London, asserted his position as the recognized Afghan ambassador to India. His absence from the mission since June had previously led to speculation about his status, but he had later clarified that it was due to personal reasons.

In the note verbale, the embassy, primarily staffed by Ghani government appointees, expressed its disappointment with the Indian government, citing a lack of diplomatic consideration and systemic support as the reasons behind the decision to close operations. The mission highlighted that several note verbales, including those related to the Strategic Partnership Agreement and other bilateral agreements, had gone unanswered since the collapse of the Afghan republic, and its significance had been systematically diminished.

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