Kolkata: Alleging that the Centre was 'sleep-walking' when political developments were unfolding in Afghanistan, former External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Saturday said that when the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was in power, an 'enormous' amount of money was spent for building, re-building institutions in Afghanistan, "giving them a chance to see democracy blossom".

Speaking to reporters here today, Khurshid said, "What is happening in our neighbourhood in Afghanistan is disappointing for us. It is certainly disappointing because, during the times when we (Congress) were in government during the UPA-1, an enormous amount of money was spent by us on building, re-building institutions in Afghanistan, giving them a chance to see democracy blossom there and that clearly seems to have suffered a major setback."

"Now, is that coincidental, is that accidental or is it something that we should have anticipated or at least prepared for, in the past few months. Our view is that we didn't do that. We were sleep-walking and suddenly this shock has woken us up," he added.

Afghanistan has entered a period of political and social turmoil in the wake of the Taliban capturing Kabul on August 15.

The Taliban has taken control of war-torn Afghanistan, but there is still an important gap between naming a government and fully taking up its functions.

Two weeks since Kabul fell, the Taliban officials are still attempting to take up the functions of a new government on the eve of its announcement.

In Kabul, as in much of the country, the most important government departments, apart from street-level security, are not functioning.

In the face of a looming economic crisis, including a worsening cash shortage that has put strains on the availability of fuel, food, and other staples, the past two weeks have been a scramble by the Taliban to establish themselves, both in the public eye and in practice, as the country's new governors.