Guess what? In a sudden move, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has now said that the group is trying to take more responsibility for Afghan embassies abroad. In fact, Muhajid said that the Taliban have dispatched diplomats to at least 14 countries, and efforts are underway to take on other diplomatic missions abroad.
- The Taliban’s spokesperson added that diplomats from the previous administration continue to operate in coordination with the group’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- According to Mujahid, the Taliban have sent their diplomats to Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Russia, China, Kazakhstan and several Arab and African countries.
- Recently, the Taliban’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that a delegation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has gone to investigate the Afghan consulate in Khorugh, Tajikistan.
- Bilal Karimi, the deputy spokesperson of the Taliban, said, “It is our hope that embassies will be opened in all countries as soon as official relations begin with the Taliban.”
Why it matters? Taliban is trying to increase its interaction with the world even though the global community has isolated it due to its restrictive policies on women and girls.
- And in January, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said that the Taliban wanted international recognition and Afghanistan’s UN seat, currently held by the former government.
- “Recognition is one leverage that we have and we should hold on to,” Mohammed said after she met Taliban ministers to try to reverse their crackdowns on women and girls.
- The Taliban initially promised a more moderate rule after their takeover in August 2021, but instead imposed sweeping bans and other measures curtailing basic freedoms.
Back story: In February, authorities handed over control of Afghanistan’s embassy in Tehran to envoys of the Taliban government. It was previously staffed by envoys from the former U.S.-backed Afghan government.
- The Taliban’s Foreign Ministry has dismissed Massoud Ahmad Azizi, the Afghan consul general in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and appointed someone else to replace him.
- Earlier, the Taliban had dismissed four Afghan consulate employees in Turkey too. And, Russia and China had also accepted Taliban members as diplomats and acting political and consul representatives of Afghanistan.
- These countries cannot officially give credentials to Taliban ambassadors because they do not recognize the Taliban. However, in order to continue trading with the Taliban government, they have accepted the group’s representatives at Afghan embassies and consulates.
Zoom out: This comes even as former Afghan envoy to the United Nations Mahmoud Saikal has said that the Taliban are not allowed to occupy Afghan embassies.
- Afghanistan’s former representative to the United Nations tweeted, “A terrorist and illegitimate group should not be allowed to occupy Afghanistan’s representatives abroad.”
- According to him, in the absence of a legitimate government in Afghanistan, the responsibility for protecting the country’s diplomatic institutions goes back to the host countries and the people of Afghanistan.