News Brief

India's Approach To Afghanistan Guided By Long-Standing Friendship With Afghan People And UN Resolutions: EAM Jaishankar

Swarajya Staff

Dec 16, 2023, 11:36 AM | Updated 11:36 AM IST

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar stated on Friday (15 December) that over the past two years, several Afghan diplomats have relocated from India after securing residency in third countries but the remaining diplomats have taken over the responsibility for continued functioning of their country's diplomatic missions.

He stated in a written response to a query in Lok Sabha that India's strategy towards Afghanistan remains influenced by its longstanding relationships, the camaraderie with the Afghan people, and pertinent UN resolutions.

"The diplomatic presence of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in New Delhi and the Consulates of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Mumbai and Hyderabad continue to function in India," he said in his reply.

"During the past two years, some Afghan diplomats have left India since they obtained residency in third countries. However, the remaining Afghan diplomats based in India have taken over the responsibility for the continued diplomatic functioning of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan," he said.

India has not yet recognised the Taliban regime, advocating instead for the creation of a truly inclusive government in Kabul. Furthermore, India insists that Afghanistan's territory should not serve as a base for terrorist activities against any nation.

Last month, the Afghan embassy in New Delhi, overseen by Ambassador Farid Mamundzay, announced its permanent closure, citing "persistent challenges from the Indian government".

The announcement of the embassy's closure by Mamundzay appears to be more related to an internal power conflict and the exit of around 20 diplomats from India who are seeking asylum in the West.

Since June, Mamundzay has been living in London.

The operations at the embassy are now being supervised by Zakia Wardrak, the Afghan Consul General in Mumbai.

Jaishankar said India's approach to Afghanistan continues to be guided by its historical relations, friendship with its people and relevant UN resolutions, including UN Security Council Resolution 2593.

The UNSC resolution 2593, adopted on 30 August 2021 talked about the need for upholding human rights in Afghanistan, demanded that Afghan territory should not be used for terrorism and that a negotiated political settlement should be found to the crisis.

"The India based personnel of the embassy in Kabul returned to India in the aftermath of the takeover by the Taliban. Since June 2022, an Indian technical team is positioned in the Embassy and is active in respect of humanitarian assistance and other situations," Jaishankar said.

"India's stance in regard to recognition of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is in consonance with that of the international community," he said.

The External Affairs Minister also mentioned India's humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.

"Keeping in mind the deteriorating situation in that country, India decided to assist Afghan people by supplying humanitarian aid," he said.

"In this endeavour, we have supplied several shipments of humanitarian assistance consisting of 50,000 MTs of wheat, 250 tons of medical aid and 28 tons of earthquake relief aid," he said.

Jaishankar said these consignments were handed over to the United Nations World Food Programme, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health and Afghan Red Crescent Society.

"India has historical and civilizational ties with Afghanistan and our development partnership has included more than five hundred projects spread across each of the 34 provinces of the country in critical areas of power, water supply, road connectivity, healthcare, education, agriculture and capacity building," he said.

He added that India's technical team in Kabul is not only overseeing the progress and operations of the projects, but also lending support to humanitarian aid efforts.

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