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Diplomats, Taliban Spar Over Control of Afghan Embassy in New Delhi

© AFP 2023 PRAKASH SINGHA Central Industrial Security Force personnel (CISF) guards the Embassy of the Islamic State of Afghanistan in New Delhi 17 October 2001.
A Central Industrial Security Force personnel (CISF) guards the Embassy of the Islamic State of Afghanistan in New Delhi 17 October 2001.  - Sputnik India, 1920, 15.05.2023
The Taliban* may have stormed back to power in Kabul in August 2021, but diplomats appointed by the erstwhile government continue to occupy several Afghan embassies overseas.
The fight for the control of the Afghan Embassy in New Delhi escalated between the diplomats anointed by the previous democratically elected government of Afghanistan and the Taliban on Monday.
In a statement released to the media, the Afghan diplomats based in the Indian capital claimed that they have disallowed the Taliban's efforts to name an official picked by the Islamic movement to take charge of the embassy in Delhi.
"The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan categorically rejects the claims from an individual claiming to have taken charge of the mission in New Delhi at the behest of the Taliban," the statement said.
In the press statement, the Afghan diplomats also praised the Indian government for their persistent support for the people of Afghanistan and for not giving recognition to the Taliban government in Kabul.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari with Acting Afghan FM Muttaqi
  - Sputnik India, 1920, 11.05.2023
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The clarification from the Afghan Embassy in New Delhi came hours after the Taliban Foreign Ministry ordered another diplomat, Mohammad Qadir Shah, who is among a group of officials serving in the mission, to take over from the existing chief there.
Presently, Farid Mamundzay serves as the Afghan Ambassador to New Delhi. Mamundzay was appointed to the post by the administration led by former President Ashraf Ghani, who fled Kabul as the Taliban swept into the Afghan capital on 15 August 2021.
The Taliban government has not been recognised by any foreign country yet, and it sees the control over Afghanistan's overseas diplomatic missions as vital for providing legitimacy to its rule in Kabul.
However, very few countries have allowed the Taliban to appoint its chosen representatives as diplomats in their capitals and elsewhere. Among the select group of nations where the Taliban have been successful in replacing Afghan diplomats are its close ally Pakistan, Asian neighbors China and Iran, Eurasian powerhouse, Russia, and a few Central Asian nations.
* under UN sanctions for terrorism