In a significant development, Afghanistan has officially declared the permanent closure of its embassy in India.
An official statement released by the Afghan Embassy cites ongoing challenges with the Indian government as the primary reason for this decision, which came into effect on November 23, 2023.
The move follows the cessation of embassy operations on September 30, with the hope that a positive change in the Indian government’s stance would allow for the resumption of normal diplomatic activities.
Clarification Amidst Speculations: Not an Internal Conflict Decision
The Afghan Embassy clarified that while some individuals, including diplomats reportedly aligned with the Taliban, may attempt to portray the closure as a result of internal conflict, it is, in fact, a strategic decision arising from divergent policy and interests.
Sharp Decline in Afghan Presence in India
The embassy’s statement highlighted a significant decline in the number of Afghan people in India over the past two years and three months.
Factors contributing to this decline include Afghan refugees, students, and businessmen leaving the country.
The Afghan population in India has nearly halved since August 2021, with very limited issuance of new visas during this period.
Challenges Faced and Diligent Efforts Made by the Embassy
Despite facing challenges, the embassy emphasized its unwavering commitment to advancing the interests of the Afghan people.
The team diligently worked in the most challenging circumstances, providing humanitarian assistance, securing online education scholarships, advocating for ease of trade, and supporting the formation of a broad-based government.
The embassy acknowledged attempts to tarnish its image and hinder diplomatic efforts but asserted that its priority remained the well-being and interests of the 40 million Afghan citizens it represents.
This closure marks a diplomatic shift and underscores the complex dynamics influencing Afghanistan-India relations.