India condemns terror attack in Afghanistan

India condemns terror attack in Afghanistan

New Delhi strongly condemned the terror attack on an Afghan Army base at Kandahar in Southern Afghanistan on Thursday.

Taking a dig at Pakistan, India pointed out that reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan could begin only if it stops providing sanctuaries to terrorists.

“The beginning of Afghan-owned and Afghan-led national reconciliation requires an end to violence,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in New Delhi said in a statement after more than 40 soldiers of the Afghan Army were killed in Taliban attack.

“States hosting the terrorists and their sanctuaries must eliminate them immediately and without distinction,” Raveesh Kumar, MEA spokesperson said.

New Delhi noted that the concerns over the terrorists carrying out the attacks in Afghanistan getting support in Pakistan were also expressed at the United Nations Security Council.

New Delhi and Kabul have since long been blaming Pakistan for providing sanctuaries to Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Haqqani Network, Taliban and other terrorist organisations carrying out attacks in Afghanistan and India.

The Taliban’s attack on Thursday followed similar deadly attacks at Paktia and Ghazni in Afghanistan.

“We strongly condemn the barbaric attack today (Thursday) at the Afghan National Army base in Kandahar province. Coming on the heels of similar tragedies in Paktia and Ghazni, we share the grief of the families of the victims and the suffering of the Afghan people,” Kumar said.

The spokesperson said India was “gravely concerned” over the recent escalation of terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, “despite hopes recently kindled by new strategies as well as efforts for bringing peace in the country”.

New Delhi noted that the terror attacks demonstrated that the “safe havens and support systems continue to be available” to the terrorists.

Rex Tillerson, American Secretary of State, on Wednesday said in Washington that President Donald Trump’s administration considered India as a “partner (of the US) for peace in Afghanistan”.

However, he sought to smooth the ruffled feathers in Islamabad and added that Pakistan too was an “important partner” of the US in South Asia.

Tillerson, who will soon visit both New Delhi and Islamabad, nudged Pakistan to deny terrorists safe haven and sanctuaries. He said the US expected Pakistan to “take decisive action against terrorist groups based within its own borders and threaten its own people and the broader region”.

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