Employees refuse to welcome Taliban pick to lead Afghanistan’s embassy in New Delhi

Sources from Afghanistan’s embassy in New Delhi, India, said the employees of the embassy have collectively refused to welcome the Taliban’s pick to lead the diplomatic office in the neighboring country.

Mohammad Qadir Shah, an employee of the embassy who has worked at the diplomatic office under the republic government, has been picked by the Taliban-run Ministry of Foreign Affairs to lead the embassy based on a letter he has received from the Taliban administration, said the sources.

Qadir Shah has been working as a secretary of the embassy in India for the past few years.

The matter has happened as Farid Mamondzay, Afghanistan’s ambassador to India, Farid Mamondzay, is in London for his holidays, said sources.

One diplomat who wished not to be named in this story said that Mamondzay had shared the matter in a WhatsApp group of “ambassadors’ council,” a setup left by the previous government which was created for coordination among Afghanistan’s embassies around the world.

Another source aware of the matter said that Indian officials had asked Mamondzai to come up with an agreement with Mohammad Qadir Shah.

Sources from Afghanistan’s embassy in New Delhi said that Mohammad Qadir Shah has sent the Taliban’s letter to the Indian government but has not received a response so far.

Meanwhile, a Taliban letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a copy of which was obtained by Amu, mentions Mamondzay as Afghanistan’s ambassador to India and has asked him to return to Kabul.

This letter from Taliban’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs was issued on April 25, 2023, announcing end of employment of Farid Mamondzay as Afghanistan’s envoy in India.

Another letter, a copy of which was seen by Amu, shows that Taliban in a letter from the address of Ministry of Foreign Affairs has introduced Qadir Shah as charge d’affaires of Afghanistan’s embassy in New Delhi.

In this letter issued by the Taliban on April 25, 2023, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Taliban assigns Mohammad Qadir Shah to take charges of Afghanistan’s embassy in New Delhi.

Mohammad Qadir Shah is a close aide to Afghanistan’s former foreign minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar and was Atmar’s spokesman under the republic government.

Farid Mamondzay, too, is known as a close aide to Atmar. He was appointed to the post when Atmar was foreign minister in Kabul.

Corruption charges at embassy

Meanwhile, a group of representatives of Afghanistan’s nationals in India in a letter to Taliban’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs have accused ambassador Farid Mamondzay; Ziaullah Hashemi, head of finance and administrative affairs at the embassy and Shakib Ibrahim Ayazi, head of political affairs at the embassy of corruption and embezzlement.

But Afghanistan’s embassy in India in a statement rejected the allegations as baseless and biased.

A statement by Afghanistan’s Embassy in New Delhi issued on May 14, 2023, rejecting allegations about the involvement of some employees, including the ambassador, in corruption and embezzlement cases.