South Asia and Beyond

Pak FM: Indian Presence In Afghanistan Larger Than Ought To Be

“At times we feel their (Indian) presence is larger than it ought to be, because, you know, they don’t share a border with you,” Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has told Lotfullah Najafizada, the head of Afghan private broadcaster Tolo News, in an interview to be telecast on Saturday. When asked how many consulates India has, the minister said, “on paper, perhaps four,” insinuating there were more unofficially. Qureshi added, “if they used your soil against us, it bothers me.” When pressed on whether India is and how, he says, “Yes. They are. By carrying out terrorist activities.” India ‘temporarily’ shut consulates in Jalalabad, on the border with Pakistan and Herat, near Iran in April 2020 bringing back over 50 diplomatic and security staff, outwardly because of COVID. In May this year, Vinesh Kalra, Consul-General in Mazar-e-Sharif died in a Kabul hospital of cardiac arrest while being COVID positive. A security review of Indian missions and assets is also pending while U.S. and foreign troops complete their exit by 9/11.

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