India will take control of the Afghanistan embassy in a caretaker capacity.
The Afghanistan embassy in India today suspended operations citing an inability to serve the country's interests and a shortage of staff and resources. India will take control of the embassy in a caretaker capacity, the statement by the embassy said. The announcement comes two years after the elected government in Afghanistan was overthrown by the Taliban.
While India does not recognise the Taliban government, it had allowed the Afghan embassy to continue operations under the ambassador and mission staff appointed by former president Ashraf Ghani, who fled Kabul in 2021.
Earlier this year, 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.
But the embassy's closure statement said it "categorically refutes any baseless claims regarding internal strife" among embassy staff, and denied any diplomats were "using the crisis to seek asylum in a third country".
Here are the reasons listed by the Afghanistan embassy was closing its operations in India:
"Lack Of Support From India"
In its statement, the Afghanistan embassy alleged an absence of support from the Indian government. It claimed that this hindered their ability to carry out their duties effectively. "The Embassy has experienced a notable absence of crucial support from the host government, which has hindered our ability to carry out our duties effectively," the statement said.
The Indian government has not yet reacted to these allegations.
Failure To Serve Afghanistan's Interests
The embassy acknowledged that they had failed to serve the best interests of Afghanistan and its citizens.
"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," it said.
The Afghan embassy said that there had been a significant reduction in personnel and resources due to unforeseen circumstances, making it challenging for them 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.
India is yet to recognise the Taliban set-up and has been pitching for the formation of a truly inclusive government in Kabul, besides insisting that Afghan soil must not be used for any terrorist activities against any country.
Earlier this week, sources in the foreign affairs ministry had said that they are keeping an eye on the crisis and also examining the authenticity of the communication about the Afghanistan embassy closing doors.