New Delhi, Oct 1 (IANS): Afghan Minorities Council (AMC) on Sunday expressed concern about the closure of Afghanistan Embassy in Delhi while rejecting the baseless and eyewash statements released by the Embassy saying it does not affect the relationship of both the countries.
It also said that it regrets regret to note that the officials of the Embassy in New Delhi have used the current political situation in Afghanistan as a tool for their vested gains including seeking refuge in other countries rather than assisting and facilitating the Afghans residing in India since last 75 years.
In a statement, Afghan Minorities Council, the supreme authority for affairs of Afghan Hindus and Sikhs in regard to closure of Afghan Embassy in New Delhi, it said, "At the outset, we thank Government of India for taking pro-active steps for the welfare of Afghan Minorities."
It also said that it was deeply concerned about the closure of Afghan Embassy in New Delhi.
“It is to regret to note that the officials of Afghan Embassy in New Delhi have used the current political situation in Afghanistan as a tool for their vested gains including seeking refuge in other countries rather than assisting and facilitating the Afghans residing in India since last 75 years," the statement read.
It noted that the community in India since many months is facing numerous issues including issuance and renewal of passports and lack of basic consular assistance from the embassy.
"Due to their non-cooperation and their internal disputes we were left with no option but to request and seek assistance from the Afghan Consulate in Dubai," it read.
Emphasising on the ties between India and Afghanistan, the statement said that Afghanistan and India share historical ties and the continued humanitarian assistance of Government of India to Afghanistan "portray the importance" it attaches to us.
"The baseless and eyewash statements released by the Afghan Embassy in New Delhi do not affect the relationship of both the countries especially people to people contact on the contrary we have been warmly assisted and facilitated by Government of India as and when required," it said.
"We also continue to be in touch with authorities in Afghanistan for the welfare of Hindus and Sikhs residing there including maintenance of Gurdwaras and Mandirs there," it said.
"We extend our fullest cooperation to Government of India if required for the smooth functioning and operations of Afghan Embassy, as India is home to around 21,000 Afghan Hindus and Sikhs and hope all the concerned parties resolve the same at the earliest," the Afghan Minorities Council added.
The remarks came after the Afghanistan Embassy in India announced late on Saturday that it was ceasing its operations from October 1 onwards, citing lack of support from the Indian government in serving it's interests.
In a statement dated September 30, the Afghan embassy also said that the decision was prompted by reduction in personnel and resources.
"It is with profound sadness, regret, and disappointment that the Embassy of Afghanistan in New Delhi announces this decision to cease its operations," the statement said.
The embassy said that this decision, while deeply regrettable, is made after careful consideration, taking into account the historic ties and long-standing partnership between Afghanistan and India.