Mazar-e-Sharif/New Delhi: India is temporarily closing down its consulate in Afghanistan’s Mazar-e-Sharif and is evacuating all its diplomats and security officials posted there along with Indian nationals.
Government sources told ThePrint that the situation in Mazar-e-Sharif is “not so good” and so the consulate is being “temporarily closed” and all diplomats and security officials posted there are being brought back via a special flight Tuesday night.
According to sources, Indian nationals who are present in the city and want to leave will also be evacuated.
Meanwhile, sources in Mazar-e-Sharif told ThePrint that orders for evacuation have come in and all diplomats will be flown directly to New Delhi.
“There will be no stopover in Kabul. The aircraft will take the diplomats directly to New Delhi,” a source told ThePrint.
He added that all visa process duties of the consulate will now be undertaken by the Indian Embassy in Kabul.
With the latest development, India has closed down all four consulates in Afghanistan, which had opened up with India stepping up civil aid to the Afghanistan government.
Last month, India had pulled out about 50 diplomats and security officials from its consulate in Kandahar.
The consulates in Jalalabad and Herat were shut down in April last year and the Covid pandemic was cited as the official reason for it.
However, the main reason, sources said, was the security risk that came with the Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan, which has gained momentum with the US pulling out of the war-torn country after two decades.
(Edited by Rachel John)