Kabul should review security measures: Indian officials

Kabul should review security measures: Indian officials

Indian installations and staff in Afghanistan may not have suffered in the attack on Parliament in Kabul but the country’s security officials believe that there is a need for a review of measures taken by local administration to secure the periphery of such buildings.

 The personnel of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), who are securing Indian embassy in Kabul and the consulate offices in Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad, Kandahar and Herat have been asked to be on “extra alert” following the attack.

 Around 300 ITBP personnel are posted in the conflict-torn country at present with around 45 being inducted after the attack on Indian consulate in Herat last year. 

Official sources told Deccan Herald that there are no immediate plans to increase the number of Indian security personnel.

“The current number is enough as of now,” the official said.  The sources explained that Indian personnel provide security to the embassy and consulates and their focus is more on perimeter security and access control.

“What is the point in stuffing so many people inside buildings? As of now, we have enough personnel there,” the official said. 

There is extensive CCTV surveillance to enable the Indian personnel to act to any threat.  The problem, sources said, is not with the security provided by the ITBP but with the security measures taken by local authorities.

“Our commandos have not been mandated to secure areas beyond our buildings. We have fortified our buildings. We are prepared. That is a right move. But in another country, we cannot ask them to allow us to scan areas beyond some permissible limit. How would we feel if security at Pakistan embassy in New Delhi demands that they be allowed to scan, say some 500 metres from their office? We would not like it and we won’t allow it saying we would provide security,” the official said. 

 “That is why we need a security review on measures taken by them to ensure that our assets are safe. We are in touch with Afghan authorities,” the official said.

An analysis had earlier shown that apart from al-Qaeda and Pakistan-based Haqqani network, threat to Indian assets in Afghanistan also emanates from smaller militant groups based in Pakistan. 

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