Taliban's bloody Kabul warning may prompt US, UK to strategically rope in India

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Islamabad, Feb.12 (ANI): The Taliban claiming responsibility for the death 26 people in suicide attacks on two government buildings in Kabul, Afghanistan, suggests that the militant outfit has the potential to come up with new and more violent responses in the coming days.

Given this latest scenario in Afghanistan, it comes as no surprise that security in Pakistan, and particularly in Islamabad, has been tightened to unprecedented levels.

According to Syed Saleem Shahzad, the Pakistan Bureau Chief of the Asia Times Online, the attack on Kabul comes even as both Barack Obama (US) and Gordon Brown (UK) have announced the appointment of Special Envoys for Pakistan and Afghanistan to strengthen Pakistan's role against the Taliban and al-Qaeda, as well as trying to bring India into the fold of their strategic partnership.

In an article for the website, Shahzad says that the Taliban has made its bloody presence felt, and the attack on Kabul, is "reminiscent of the Pakistan-linked terror attack on the Indian city of Mumbai last November".

"The attack, the most complex and brazen in the (Afghan) capital since the Taliban were ousted in 2001, involved five armed militants", and came a day ahead of a visit by US Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke.

According to Shahzad, it "can be seen as a clear statement that even while furious diplomatic activity is taking place involving among others Washington and Moscow, the Taliban voice will be heard."

He further says in his article that the attack "comes as something of a surprise as it was widely believed that the Taliban would lie relatively low ahead of this year's spring offensive."

He says that on the battlefields in Pakistan and Afghanistan, plans are afoot to launch the strongest offensive yet against militants.

"This could begin once Pakistani army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kiani returns to Pakistan from the United States where he will discuss in detail the dynamics of the militancy and enhanced cooperation between Islamabad and Washington," he says.

Across the border, in India, there are also murmurings of al-Qaeda terror cells exploding into action to deter India from aligning with Western forces against the Taliban-led resistance in Afghanistan.

Al-Qaeda assesses 2009 as the year in which it could fight its fiercest - if not decisive - battle: the flames of war could flare at any time, anywhere, he concludes. (ANI)

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