Afghanistan assures top security for Indian mission in Kabul

New Delhi, Jan.10 (ANI): Afghanistan has assured India that it will continue to provide security to the Indian mission in Kabul and it interests to the "best of its ability".

Well placed sources said that the Afghan Government has conveyed this message to External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna during interactions held over the weekend.

Recently, the Indian embassy in Kabul and four consulates in Afghanistan were put on high alert following intelligence inputs that militants may be preparing for a strike on Indian establishments.

Currently, around 4500 Indians are working in Afghanistan under constant threat, especially from the Pakistan-backed Haqqani network.

Pakistan is wary of India's growing presence and goodwill in Afghanistan and experts believe that Islamabad wants to establish its strategic depth and undercut India's efforts in that war-torn country.

Over the course of nearly seven years, India has pumped in aid worth 1.3 billion dollars for infrastructure projects, capacity building and agriculture in Afghanistan.

Unfazed by the increased threat perception, India has said that it will stand firm and will not be cowed down by them.

Last year militants carried out coordinated suicide attacks at two hotels in Kabul, killing at least nine Indians, including two army majors. At least 10 others, including five Indian Army officers, were injured in the strike.

The Indian embassy also came under attack twice in October 2009 and July 2008 respectively in which more than 60 staffers were killed and many were injured. Security personnel have also been targetted.

India has expressed satisfaction over the number of recruitments taking place in the Afghan National Army and is convinced that this indigenous force will be able to maintain the security and sovereignity of the country.

New Delhi believes that any external intervention in Afghanistan's reconciliation and reintegration process will be detrimental to the process, and has conveyed to Kabul to be mindful of the guidelines laid down during the 2010 London Conference while dealing with fringe groups.

It was decided during the London conference that Afghan government should reconcile and reintegrate only with those militants or fringe groups who are ready to abjure violence and adhere to the Afghan constitution. By Naveen Kapoor(ANI)

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