Security for Indians in Afghanistan being increased

Security for Indians in Afghanistan being increased

Sources here also made it clear that India is "not reaching out" to Taliban and before thinking about that, it will await the results of the campaign launched by the US-led forces in Helmand and the proposed military action to be initiated in Kandahar.
India is conscious of the dangers posed to its interests by the Taliban and lately Lashkar-e-Taiba in Afghanistan but that will not deter it from continuing the developmental and reconstruction projects it is committed to.

There are about 3,500 Indians engaged in such projects but not many of them are working for Indian government programmes as a substantial number have been contracted by firms of other countries, the sources said.

However, after the February 26 attack, India is increasing security for its personnel working on reconstruction projects in Afghanistan, they said.The Indian medical mission in Kabul, which was the worst hit in the February 26 attack, had to be scaled down as most of its members were hurt and one was killed.

"It is not a full stop to our developmental projects in Afghanistan," the sources said, adding all other reconstruction activities and Indian medical missions in other places of Afghanistan are continuing their work.The Indian medical mission in Kabul has treated 3.1 lakh people and it has won considerable dividends for India as the work has been appreciated in Afghanistan as well by other countries, they said.

India is currently engaged in public diplomacy to reach out to various sections of the Afghan society through developmental projects.On the attack on two Kabul hotels which housed Indians, the sources said there was a "fairly authentic" information about involvement of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Describing LeT and Taliban as outfits "morphed" with each other, they said the Kabul attack had shown that LeT was working beyond India, a country which was the sole target of the outfit when it was created.

LeT has been steadily expanding its reach and needs to be fought at international level, the sources underlined.Denying reports about India opening channels with Taliban, they said it was "too early to take a stand" on it when the military campaign by the US-led forces was underway and there was a "war-like" situation.

The sources pointed out that India sees Taliban as an "antagonist" and "protagonist" outfit which was on the "dark side" of history.With regard to fight against Taliban, the sources said India does not visualise the US or NATO forces leaving Afghanistan in the near future.

They said Taliban needs to be tackled and the situationin Afghanistan needs to stabilise before US or NATO can leave. In this regard, the sources noted that the result of the military campaign of the US-led forces underway in Helmand and the one proposed to be launched in Kandahar would be crucial before India takes a stand on Taliban.
On talk about "reintegration" of Taliban, the sources said it was for President Hamid Karzai to handle it. There are also aspects like how the US views this process and what role Pakistan should have in it.

However, the US is clear that this process should not be outsourced to Pakistan. This is despite the fact that the US needs Pakistan while dealing with terrorism and extremism.
So, India does not see Pakistan controlling the situation in Afghanistan.
Britain is said to be open to the idea of talking to the extremist militia but India has conveyed its concerns about it