Home » News » India » EXCLUSIVE | Taliban Can't Demand Acceptance at the Barrel of the Gun, Says Afghan Ambassador to India

EXCLUSIVE | Taliban Can't Demand Acceptance at the Barrel of the Gun, Says Afghan Ambassador to India

By: Shailendra Wangu


Last Updated: December 11, 2021, 12:49 IST

Afghanistan Ambassador to India Farid Mamundzay has appealed to the Indian government to revoke the suspension of student visas. (Twitter/@FMamundzay)

Afghanistan Ambassador to India Farid Mamundzay has appealed to the Indian government to revoke the suspension of student visas. (Twitter/@FMamundzay)

Afghanistan Ambassador to India Farid Mamundzay says the Afghan diplomatic community has no communication with the Taliban regime. He also appealed to India for continued political, diplomatic and humanitarian support.

Afghanistan’s diplomatic community stationed across 70 countries will not work with the Taliban unless it gains public acceptance and forms an inclusive government, the country’s Ambassador to India Farid Mamundzay has told News18. In his first interview following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August, Mamundzay said the new regime cannot demand acceptance “at the barrel of the gun”.

The Ambassador added that Afghanistan needs India’s support in dealing with the humanitarian crisis, and also to build international pressure on Taliban to protect human rights. Mamundzay also appealed to New Delhi to revoke the visa suspension of Afghan students enrolled in Indian institutions.

Edited excerpts:

It has been four months since the Taliban has captured Afghanistan. How is the country doing under the new rulers?


The most troubling situation that has emerged after the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan is the humanitarian crisis. The country is facing crisis of essential commodities, including food and medicines, and many people have already left.

Approximately 5 lakh people have left the country, 1% of the entire population. There were many doctors and engineers among them. The last four months have been a nightmare for us. We have practically been disconnected from the outside world, politically and economically. Airports are closed, medical supply to hospitals is disrupted, Afghan currency is weakened and there has been huge hike in unemployment. According to international agencies, by next June, 98% of the people will fall below poverty line. So, in a way, the situation is very dismal in our country.

Ambassadors appointed during the former regime have not started working with the present Taliban government. It there any communication with the present dispensation?

We have almost 70 embassies across the world. There has been sustained communication and coordination among them. We are ready to work with a government that is recognised and accepted by the people of Afghanistan. The people of the country have not recognised the government. This is a government which has not got any acceptance by the international community.

I wish the Taliban move towards an inclusive government, which incorporates every section of the society, including the minorities. It is very essential that the government is accepted by the people and that will not happen at the barrel of the gun. People will never accept such a force. Our embassy is also not ready to work with such a force. Moreover, the host countries have not recognised the present regime.

To provide humanitarian assistance, India and Pakistan are holding discussion over modalities so that India can send 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat and medicines to Afghanistan through the Pakistani route. When is this humanitarian assistance expected to reach Afghanistan?

Talks regarding humanitarian assistance from India have been progressing satisfactorily. All paper work is almost complete. I hope that in the coming two weeks, all formalities will be completed. India has always provided assistance to Afghanistan. The Government of India and the people of India have extended their help in this troubling time. And this is a huge humanitarian assistance; it will take 20 to 30 days to reach Afghanistan. I wish by the first week of January, this food and medicine consignment reaches various parts of Afghanistan.

India has always fostered cordial relations with Afghanistan. Now that the Taliban is ruling the country, what do you expect from India, as an ambassador, so that people get relief?

We have a historical relationship with India which is very strong and this friendship is based on people-to-people contact. In the last 43 years, we have seen many governments come and go, but the friendship has been undeterred and it will remain so.

As the elder partner in the friendship, I think India can lend a helping hand on two fronts. The first is humanitarian assistance, which includes food items, medicine, Covid-19 vaccines and winter supplies. The second is diplomatic and political support in the form of constant pressure on Taliban so that it agrees to form an inclusive government. India has a very good relationship with Russia, Iran and Western countries. So, I appeal to India to support us in peace talks and invigorating communication channels so that we don’t have to be at the mercy of any autocratic force. India can help us immensely on this front.

Almost 2,500 students are trapped in Afghanistan. Their visas are suspended and no flights are flying between the two countries. In such a situation, what is your appeal to the Government of India?

Students stranded in Afghanistan are pursuing higher education in various institutions in India. They are enrolled in various universities in Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and other states. The highest assistance to us from India has been in the field of education. Suspension of their visas was not in good spirit.

I appeal to the Government of India to allow these students to come to India and complete their education. Those students have not become Taliban or joined Talibani forces overnight, so suspension of their visas sends a wrong signal. The loss of academic year is the biggest loss for students. India should consider this as a humanitarian issue and take steps to resolve this crisis. I hope in the coming days, the problem is resolved.

Read all the Latest News, Breaking News and Coronavirus News here.

first published:December 11, 2021, 12:49 IST
last updated:December 11, 2021, 12:49 IST