The Taliban regime in Afghanistan has claimed to have taken over the diplomatic mission in India, after months of pressure and intimidation. Hundreds of Afghan diplomats loyal to the former republic have resigned or fled the country, leaving behind a skeleton staff of Taliban appointees.
The Afghan embassy in New Delhi, which used to fly the black-red-and-green tricolor flag of the ousted government, now displays the white banner of the Taliban. The embassy’s website and social media accounts have also been changed to reflect the new administration.
India has not officially recognized the Taliban as the legitimate rulers of Afghanistan, nor has it established any formal diplomatic relations with them.
India has been one of the largest donors and supporters of the former Afghan government, investing billions of dollars in development projects, infrastructure, education and health. India also trained and equipped the Afghan security forces, which collapsed in the face of the Taliban’s rapid advance in August 2021.
The Taliban’s takeover of the Afghan mission in India has sparked outrage and concern among the Afghan diaspora, human rights activists and civil society groups. They have staged protests outside the embassy, demanding that India reject the Taliban’s claim and restore the status of the former republic’s representatives.
Many Afghans living in India fear for their safety and future, as they face the risk of deportation or persecution by the Taliban. Some have applied for asylum or refugee status in India or other countries, while others have gone into hiding or changed their identities.
The fate of the Afghan diplomatic missions in other countries remains uncertain, as the Taliban continues to seek international recognition and legitimacy. Taliban, claim they have a diplomatic presence in 14 countries, including all neighboring countries except Tajikistan. However, none of these countries have formally recognized the Taliban, and some have maintained contact with the former republic’s envoys.
The Taliban’s diplomatic offensive has been met with resistance and skepticism by the international community, which has set conditions for recognition, such as forming an inclusive government, respecting human rights, especially women’s rights, and cutting ties with terrorist groups. The Taliban, however, have failed to meet these demands, and have instead imposed a harsh and repressive rule, marked by violence, repression and poverty.