The Afghan Embassy in New Delhi stopped its operations from Sunday citing “lack of support from the host government” as one of the reasons.

“It is with profound sadness, regret, and disappointment that the Embassy of Afghanistan in New Delhi announces this decision to cease its operations,” the diplomatic office said in a statement issued on Saturday.

Besides claiming lack of support from the Indian government, the Afghan Embassy also cited its failure to serve Kabul’s expectations and downsizing in personnel and resources as reasons for shutting its operations in New Delhi.

The Embassy said that it was not able to cater to the interests of Afghanistan due to lack of diplomatic support from India and the “absence of a legitimate functioning government in Kabul”.

The Afghan embassy in New Delhi was led by Ambassador Farid Mamundzay, who had been appointed by the Ashraf Ghani government before the takeover of the country by Taliban forces in August 2021. However, Mamundzay continued in his role even after the Ghani government was unseated.

As for the reduction in personnel, the Embassy’s statement blamed “lack of timely and sufficient support from visa renewal for diplomats to other critical areas of cooperation”.

The statement went on to refute, what it described as “baseless claims”, of strife among the diplomatic staff. The Embassy also claimed that no member of the staff had sought asylum in a third country.

“Such rumours are unfounded and do not reflect the reality of our mission,” the statement added.

The clarification likely came in the wake of news reports in April-May that Taliban would appoint a charge d’affaires to replace Mamundzay as the head of the Embassy.

The tussle for power had erupted after Qadir Shah, who was working as a trade councillor at the Embassy since 2020, wrote to India’s Ministry of External Affairs in late April claiming that he had been appointed as the charge d’affaires at the embassy by the Taliban, PTI reported.

India has not yet recognised the Taliban administration in Afghanistan but has held delegation-level talks with the insurgent group.

Also read: Why India is cautiously engaging with the Taliban regime in Afghanistan