False - July 12, 2021

Closure of Indian consulate general in Kandahar incorrect

KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Some media outlets on Sunday reported that the Indian Consulate General in Kandahar City has been closed while the Ministry of Interior (MoI) rejected it and only Indian diplomats have been evacuated and local staff is working in the facility.

 

Claim: Multiple Indian media outlets reported that Indian has closed its Consulate General in Kandahar City and evacuated its diplomats due to heavy fighting on the outskirts of Kandahar City.

Fact Check:

After overrunning some districts of Kandahar province, the Taliban forced their way into the 7th Police District of Kandahar City where heavy clashes have been underway over the past few days, inflicting casualties on tens of civilians.

After the firefight in the 7th Police District of the city intensified, Indian diplomats held a meeting with the governor and shared their security concerns, said Baheer Ahmad, the governor spokesperson.

He said the governor assured Indian diplomats of full security and safety, adding that the Indian Consulate General has not been closed and will continue its diplomatic mission.

On the other hand, Indian External Affairs Ministry in a statement said that New Delhi was closely watching situation in Afghanistan.

The ministry said India was closely monitoring the evolving security situation in Afghanistan, calling the safety and security of Indian personnel paramount. The Consulate General of India in Kandahar has not been closed.

However, due to the intense fighting near Kandahar city, India-based personnel have been brought back for the time being. The External Affairs Ministry emphasized that “this is a purely temporary measure until the situation stabilizes. The Consulate continues to operate through our local staff members.”

Arrangements are being made to ensure continued delivery of visa and consular services through our Embassy in Kabul.

As an important partner of Afghanistan’s, India remains committed to a peaceful, sovereign and democratic Afghanistan.”

Indian media also reported that a special plane shifted 50 diplomats from Kandahar City to New Delhi.

This comes at a time when Indian Consulate Generals in Nangarhar, Balkh and Herat provinces continue its activities as normal.

Outcome: Indian media report is incorrect claiming the closure of Indian Consulate General in Kandahar City but it correctly reported that Indian diplomats had been evacuated from Kandahar City.

Verdict: Closure of Indian Consulate General in Kandahar City is false but transfer of diplomats is true.

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