Afghan independent newspaper, Hasht-e Subh Daily, citing its sources, reported on March 25 that a Taliban delegation led by Mohammad Musa, the head of the Foreign Ministry Finance Department, at first visited Dushanbe and then the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) on a business visa.
According to the newspaper, the delegation visited Tajikistan for negotiations with the Tajik authorities on the handover the Afghan Consulate General in GBAO’s capital, Khorog, to the Taliban-led Afghan Government.
It is not clear whether the parties have reached a preliminary agreement on the handover of the Khorog consulate or not, Hasht-e Subh reported, noting that some former diplomats of Afghanistan have created grounds for that visit.
A representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan, whom Asia-Plus reporter contacted by phone, has refrained from commenting on this news.
The Afghan Embassy in Dushanbe, which is still run by the anti-Taliban opposition, vehemently denied the report on the visit of the Taliban delegation to Dushanbe, but confirmed the report on the Taliban delegation’s visit to Khorog. They just noted that no official changes had occurred in the Consulate General in Khorog.
“The embassy and the consulate work with the same staff as before and no handover took place,” a representative of the opposition-run embassy in Dushanbe added.
Meanwhile, Eurasianet says the Afghan Consulate in Khorog has already passed under the control of the Taliban regime.
A representative of the Afghan Embassy in Dushanbe told Eurasianet on March 27 on condition of anonymity that the Consulate in Khorog is issuing Afghan passports and that staff have been receiving salaries from the Taliban for the last two months.
“Formally, the consulate is part of the embassy itself, but informally, it is not under our control, and it is directly linked to the Taliban,” the source was cited as saying.
Recall, Afghan media reports reported yesterday that the Taliban-led Afghan government’s foreign office has claimed the Taliban delegation traveled to Afghanistan Consulate General in Khorog.
Thus, Kabul Now says the Taliban’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed its delegation visited the General-Consulate of Afghanistan in Khorog on March 25 to assess the consular services and it’s building damaged by recent avalanches. The delegation was reportedly surveying repairs to the consulate building
After the visit, the delegation reportedly shared their assessment with the group’s foreign ministry for reconstruction of the Consulate’s building.
Relations between the Taliban leadership in Kabul and official Dushanbe are strained as Tajik authorities have been outspoken in their demand that the unrecognized Afghan government boost inclusiveness since it took over after the withdrawal of U.S.-led international troops in August 2021.
Kabul Now says Tajikistan is the only neighboring country of Afghanistan that has not accepted Taliban diplomats and has not established diplomatic relations with the group.