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Aishwarya Kumar, Pune

The Afghan Embassy in India has decided to halt its operations, citing the lack of support from the host government. The Embassy, which continued its operation after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, previously suspended its operations in the US.

The embassy has listed factors cited as reasons for the closure, including the lack of crucial support from the Indian government, a significant reduction in personnel and other resources, and the absence of timely and adequate sustenance, which hindered its regular operations and caused distress and frustration amongst diplomats, pushing them towards this unfortunate decision.

The Embassy will, however, assist in emergency consular services to Afghan citizens until the transfer is complete and its custodial responsibility is handed over to the host country.

The Afghan Embassy has had a strenuous relationship with India since the Taliban takeover in 2021. The prolonged absence of the Afghan ambassador from India, along with the departure of diplomats to third-world countries seeking asylum and the lack of visas for Afghan national students in India, have all been adding to this tension.

This is not the first time an Afghan Embassy in a host country has ceased its operations. When Kabul lost its power to the Taliban, Afghan embassies all over the world found themselves in a juxtaposition desolated, losing track of their prime function: the crisis to serve a government that is not considered legitimate by the majority of nations, the UN itself, or the interests of a government that no longer exists.

As their bank accounts dried up, they had to close one after another, and their diplomats, fearing for their lives, applied for asylum in countries that supported the older government.

The US was the first country where the Afghan Embassy ceased its operation.