Karzai Assures of Steps to Protect Indians

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Friday assured, visiting Indian National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon, that his government was committed to all steps required to ensure the safety and security of those engaged in the humanitarian and reconstruction work in his country, said reports

NSA Menon, who arrived in Kabul Friday to discuss security aspects following an attack that killed seven Indians last week, also met his Afghan counterpart Dadfar Rangin Spanta.

During the meeting, Menon underlined New Delhi’s commitment to the reconstruction of Afghanistan and underlined the historical and friendly relations between people of both countries.

The Afghan side told the former foreign secretary that investigations into the February 26 attack would soon be concluded.

Following the initial probe, Afghan investigators had said they suspected the involvement of Pak-based Lashkar-e-Tayyeba in the attack.

Some 4,000 Indians work in Afghanistan as part of India’s multimillion humanitarian and reconstruction aid to the war-ravaged nation.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday told the Lok Sabha that the recent “cowardly” act targeting Indians on goodwill mission in Kabul would not “bend the will” of India to help people of Afghanistan.

He was replying to a debate in Parliament over the February 26 attack.

“These Indian nationals were in Afghanistan on a mission of goodwill and friendship helping to construct the peaceful and democratic Afghanistan that our Afghan friends desire. We condemn this cowardly act,” he said.

“I wish to assure this House that such attacks will not bend the will of the people of India,” he said.

Referring to President Hamid Karzai’s telephone call to him after the attack, Singh said he had requested him to ensure the safety of all Indians.

He said India was closely monitoring the developments with regard to Afghanistan.

(Based on Media Reports)

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