Indian missions under constant threat in Afghanistan

NEW DELHI: A day ahead of his visit to Afghanistan, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna today said Indian missions in that country were under constant threat but Afghan government has “fully assured” New Delhi of their security.

Noting that several lives have been lost due to attacks on Indian missions, Krishna said the government was working with the Afghan government to ensure that enough protection was provided to embassy and consulates to avoid any more casualties.

“We have been fully assured by President Hamid Karzai and his government of that (security),” he said.

Apart from staff in missions, some 4,000 Indians are building roads, sanitation projects and power lines in the country. India is also building the new Afghan Parliament.

In February last year, nine Indians were killed in a Taliban suicide attack on foreigners in Kabul, which claimed 16 lives and left 20 people critically injured.

Besides its embassy in Kabul, India has consulates in Jalalabad, Kandahar, Mazar-e-Sharif and Herat.

During his two day visit, Krishna will take up a host of issues, including regional security situation and safety of Indian nationals in that country.

The visit is also expected to underline the importance of Indian involvement in reconstruction of the war-torn country.

India has pledged USD 1.3 billion for reconstruction activities.

Apart from holding talks with his Afghan counterpart Zalmay Rassoul, Krishna is expected to call on President Hamid Karzai and the Deputy Prime Minister.

Given India’s reservation to proposed reintegration of the Taliban, Krishna is also expected to reiterate New Delhi’s position on ‘Afghan-led and Afghan-owned’ peace deal.

Krishna’s visit also comes amidst Afghanistan government’s move to enlist Islamabad’s help to broker peace with the Taliban.

-PTI

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