India blames Pak-based terror outfits for Af military base attack

India blames Pak-based terror outfits for Af military base attack

India blames Pak-based terror outfits for Af military base attack

India on Saturday tacitly blamed the terror networks operating out of Pakistan for the latest attack by the Taliban on a military base at Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan.

“The terrorist attack is a stark reminder of the need to immediately dismantle the safe havens and sanctuaries that support and sustain terrorism in Afghanistan from outside its borders,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement, without directly referring to Pakistan.

Over 100 people were killed after Taliban militants attacked a camp of Afghan Army at Mazar-e-Sharif in northern Afghanistan on Friday. Some reports indicated that the death toll could be as high as 140.

India condemned the “deplorable terrorist attack” in the “strongest terms”, noting that it resulted in “loss of lives, including the brave personnel of the Afghan National Defence Forces”.

“Strongly condemn the cowardly terror attack in Mazar-e-Sharif. Our prayers and condolences to the families who lost loved ones,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted on Twitter. He had lately discussed the situation in Afghanistan with H R McMaster, National Security Advisor to US President Donald Trump, and Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for foreign and security policies.

“The government and the people of India extend their deepest condolences and stand with the government and people of Afghanistan at this difficult moment,” Gopal Baglay, official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said on Saturday.

New Delhi reaffirmed India's steadfast support to Afghanistan in “fighting all forms of terrorism and bringing perpetrators of terrorist violence to justice, wherever they may be”.

India has been concerned over the surge in violence in Afghanistan as well as the lack of progress in the peace process.

New Delhi has always maintained that any peace process in Afghanistan should be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned and should not be based on any artificial distinction between “good terrorist” and “bad terrorist”.