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Afghanistan Embassy Closure in Delhi: Impact on India



  Oct 05, 2023

Closure of the Afghan Embassy in Delhi


1. Why is the Embassy of Afghanistan in Delhi closing?

The embassy has announced its closure due to various factors, including a lack of cooperation from the Government of India and insufficient resources to continue operations. It has urged India to fly the flag of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan over embassy premises and hand over the mission to a "legitimate government" of Afghanistan in the future.
 

2. Is this a significant development in Afghanistan-India relations?

The closure represents a continuation of the strained relationship between India and the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan. The embassy had been operating as a "stateless mission" since the Taliban takeover in August 2021, as India does not recognize the Taliban as the legitimate rulers of Kabul. It mainly provided support to Afghan citizens and travelers in India.
 

3. Will this impact travel and trade between Afghanistan and India?

While the embassy in Delhi is closing, the consulates in Hyderabad and Mumbai remain open. The Consul General of Afghanistan has stated that the consulate will continue to function, especially for Afghan students, refugees, and traders. The closure may cause confusion among Afghans in India, but the consulates are expected to assist them.
 

4. Do India and Afghanistan have no diplomatic relations now?

While formal diplomatic ties have not been established, India and Afghanistan maintain informal engagement. India operates a "technical team" in Kabul to provide visas to Afghan traders and travelers. Weekly flights between the two countries continue, mainly for humanitarian assistance. Some Indian goods enter Afghanistan through other countries.
 

5. Will India establish formal ties with the Taliban?

India has not formally recognized the Taliban government but has engaged with Taliban representatives since August 2021. Indian diplomats have participated in multilateral initiatives like the Moscow format dialogue. While some countries are warming to the Taliban, India has not indicated a change in its position. India has historical reservations about the Taliban operating from the embassy in Delhi, a stance it has maintained since 1996.


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