This article was first published in Deccan Herald.
In a sudden and surprising development in March last year, India closed its consulates in Jalalabad and Herat. Jalalabad is 65 km from the Torkham border crossing with Pakistan, and Herat about 120 km from Iran. Though there was no official statement, one newspaper reported that a high-level security group had recommended closure over heightened security threats and Covid-related concerns. The closure was said to be temporary, and reopening would await a review. India has had consulates at these cities even in the years when fighting raged.