Afghan envoys marooned abroad after Taliban’s sudden return By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An Afghan flag flutters exterior the Afghan embassy in Washington, U.S., August 15, 2021 on the day Taliban insurgents entered Afghanistan’s capital Kabul. REUTERS/Ken Cedeno/File Picture


By Rupam Jain

(Reuters) – The Taliban’s abrupt return to energy has left lots of of Afghan diplomats abroad in limbo: working out of cash to maintain missions working, fearful for households again residence and determined to safe refuge overseas.

    The Islamist militant motion, which swiftly ousted Afghanistan’s Western-backed authorities on Aug. 15, mentioned on Tuesday that it had despatched messages to all of its embassies telling diplomats to proceed their work.

    However eight embassy employees who spoke to Reuters on situation of anonymity, in international locations together with Canada, Germany and Japan, described dysfunction and despair at their missions.

“My colleagues right here and in lots of international locations are pleading with host nations to just accept them,” mentioned an Afghan diplomat in Berlin, who mentioned he feared what may occur to his spouse and 4 daughters who stay in Kabul if he allowed his identify for use.

“I’m actually begging. Diplomats are keen to grow to be refugees,” he mentioned, including he must promote every thing, together with a big home in Kabul, and “begin once more”.

Afghanistan’s missions abroad face a interval of “extended limbo” as international locations resolve whether or not to recognise the Taliban, mentioned Afzal Ashraf, a global relations knowledgeable and visiting fellow at Britain’s College of Nottingham.

“What can these embassies do? They do not signify a authorities. They do not have a coverage to implement,” he mentioned, including that embassy employees would seemingly be granted political asylum because of security considerations in the event that they returned to Afghanistan.

The Taliban, who enforced a strict interpretation of Islamic legislation with punishments like amputations and stonings throughout their earlier rule from 1996 to 2001, have sought to indicate a extra conciliatory face since coming again to energy.

    Spokespeople have reassured Afghans that they aren’t out for revenge and can respect folks’s rights, together with ladies’s.

However experiences of house-to-house searches and reprisals towards former officers and ethnic minorities have made folks cautious. The Taliban have vowed to analyze any abuses.

A gaggle of envoys from the deposed authorities issued a first-of-its-kind joint assertion, reported by Reuters on Wednesday forward of its public launch, calling on world leaders to disclaim the Taliban formal recognition.


Afghanistan’s appearing international minister Amir Khan Muttaqi advised a information convention in Kabul on Tuesday that the Taliban had despatched messages to all Afghan embassies telling them to proceed work.

“Afghanistan invested in you numerous, you might be assewts of Afghanistan,” he mentioned.

One senior Afghan diplomat estimated there have been round 3,000 folks both working within the nation’s embassies or straight depending on them.

Ousted president Ashraf Ghani’s toppled administration additionally penned a letter to international missions on Sept. 8 calling the Taliban’s new authorities “illegitimate” and urging embassies to “proceed their regular capabilities and duties”.

However these requires continuity don’t replicate the chaos on the bottom, embassy employees mentioned.

“There isn’t any cash. It isn’t potential to function in such circumstances. I’m not being paid now,” a supply on the Afghan embassy in Canada’s capital Ottawa mentioned.

Two Afghan embassy staffers in New Delhi mentioned they have been additionally working out of money for a mission serving 1000’s of Afghans who’re looking for methods residence to reunite with households or need assistance making use of for asylum in different international locations.

Each staffers mentioned they’d not return to Afghanistan for concern of being focused because of their connections to the earlier authorities, however would additionally battle to get asylum in India the place 1000’s of Afghans have spent years in search of refugee standing.

“I’ve to simply sit tight for now within the embassy premises and wait to exit to any nation that’s keen to just accept me and my household,” one mentioned.


A few of Afghanistan’s envoys have brazenly criticised the Taliban.

Manizha Bakhtari, the nation’s Austria ambassador, commonly posts allegations of human rights abuses by the Taliban on Twitter (NYSE:), whereas China envoy Javid Ahmad Qaem warned towards believing Taliban guarantees on extremist teams.

Others are mendacity low, hoping that their host international locations is not going to rush to recognise the group and put them in danger.

A number of Afghan diplomats mentioned they’d be carefully watching the annual assembly of world leaders on the United Nations in New York subsequent week the place there may be uncertainty over who will fill Afghanistan’s seat.

United Nations credentials give weight to a authorities, and nobody has but formally claimed Afghanistan’s seat. Any transfer seen as legitimising the Taliban may empower the group to interchange embassy employees with their very own, the diplomats mentioned.

In Tajikistan, some embassy employees managed to deliver their households throughout the border in latest weeks and they’re contemplating changing the embassy into residential premises to deal with them, a senior diplomat there mentioned.

And, like friends unfold out throughout the globe, they don’t have any plans to return residence with the Taliban again in energy.

“It’s extremely clear that not a single Afghan diplomat posted abroad desires to return,” mentioned a senior Afghan diplomat in Japan. “We’re all decided to remain the place we’re and perhaps many international locations will settle for we’re part of a authorities that’s in exile.”

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