Manmohan Singh's visit to Kabul sees heightened security

Till Wednesday afternoon, a senior Indian government official did not reveal the dates of the visit, only stating that it would be in the “near future”.

Prime Minister Singh arrived Kabul at 11.30 a.m. Thursday morning for a two-day visit which comes just over a week after the killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, which has thrown the region in uncertainty.

According to security officials, the Afghan situation has been “troublesome”, with the Afghan government being very carefull during Manmohan Singh's visit.

“Indians are very much targets in the country. So, they did not want anything to go wrong,” said an Indian official. In fact, it was the Afghan government which had insisted that the dates should remain completely under wraps. “They said that the dates should not be leaked under any circumstances,” the official added.

In fact, Indian embassy officials were informed about the dates about three days ago. The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) was coordinating the two-day visit. After arrival, the prime minister was taken by helicopter straight to the presidential complex. The rest of the delegation were taken in a cavalcade for which the route was cleared.

There were strict instructions to all members of the Indian delegation not to move out of their hotel. There have been several attacks on Indians and Indian installations over the last few years, including two devastating attacks on the Indian embassy. Besides, several Indians working with public and private companies have been kidnapped by the Taliban, with some of them being executed.

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