Local Taliban leaders inspect shut consulates, sources say it's not India specific but local law and order issue

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By Naveen Kapoor

New Delhi [India], August 20 (ANI): There are reports that local Taliban leaders are inspecting consulates of various countries located in Kandahar, Herat, Mazhar-e-Sharif and several other cities, it is learnt some local warlords had also reportedly checked some Indian consulates and other nearby buildings.

Earlier this month, India had closed all its consulates in Afghanistan and all the Indian staff was evacuated. The Indian embassy in Kabul is functional only and local staff is providing consular service.

The Indian embassy in Kabul is totally secure and no one has come or searched the mission, the source told ANI.

Informed sources also said that local warlords are trying to take control of empty buildings, there are many consulates of various nations in Mazhar-e-Sharif, Kandhar and Herat.

Embassy staff has been evacuated by other countries and all the activities are shut, this action by local militias cannot be seen as India specific and is a local law and order issue.

When the consulate is shut there is no question of any documents left behind classified or non-classified, so no question of getting access to crucial documents do not arise, the source added.

Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen in an earlier interview with ANI said that no diplomats and their missions will be targeted.

Afghanistan is yet to form a government; scores of Indian passport holders await evacuation. India is in a wait and watch mode to see how the Taliban conduct in the coming days.

Earlier, the Taliban announced a "general amnesty" for all Afghan government officials and urged them to return to work, including women corresponding with Sharia law.

The comments were made by Enamullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban's cultural commission.

"The structure of government is not fully clear, but based on experience, there should be a fully Islamic leadership and all sides should join," he added.

Samangani remained vague on other details, however, implying people already knew the rules of Islamic law the Taliban expected them to follow.

Taliban have been vague in pronouncements on how they would rule Afghanistan, apart from saying it would be in accordance with Islamic "principles".

Older generations remember the ultraconservative Islamic regime that saw regular stoning, amputations and public executions during Taliban rule before the US-led invasion that followed the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.

The terrorists have sought to project greater moderation in recent years, but many Afghans remain sceptical. (ANI)

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