27 Feb : India on Friday condemned the “heinous” terrorist strike in Kabul which left at least nine Indians, including government officials, dead and said this was clearly aimed against the people of India and Afghanistan.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday condemned the “senseless act of violence and barbarism” in Kabul, saying the Indians who were killed in the bomb attack were on a “mission of goodwill and friendship”.
“I condemn in the strongest possible terms this senseless act of violence and barbarism which strikes at the core of everything a civilized society holds dear,” Dr Singh said in a statement.
He said he was deeply saddened and grieved at the loss of lives of Indian nationals in the attack which also claimed the lives of several innocent Afghan civilians.
“The Indians who have lost their lives were on a mission of goodwill and friendship, helping to construct a peaceful, democratic Afghanistan that our Afghan friends desire,” Dr Singh said.
Conveying his heartfelt condolences to the families and near and dear ones of those killed, the Prime Minister assured them that “we stand with them in this hour of grief and will render all possible support to them.”
“As per the preliminary information provided by Afghan Government officials, up to nine Indians, besides a few others from Afghanistan and third countries, have lost their lives,” External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said in a statement in New Delhi.
“The deceased Indians include Government officials. A few Indians have been injured, most of whom are reported to be out of danger,” he said.
Noting that the target of the attack was “few residential facilities used, among others, by Indian nationals”, the minister said “India strongly condemns the attack.
This is the third attack on Indian officials and interests in Afghanistan in the past 20 months.
“These barbaric attacks are a matter of deep concern and are clearly aimed against the people of India and the people of Afghanistan.”
He said arrangements were also being made for adequate and expeditious treatment for those injured, and if necessary, by evacuating them to India.
“(Indian) Government is in close touch with the Government of Afghanistan on all aspects concerning the safety, security and welfare of Indians in that country,” Krishna said.
Krishna said “these (attacks) are the handiwork of those who are desperate to undermine the friendship between India and Afghanistan, and do not wish to see a strong, democratic and pluralistic Afghanistan.
“The international community and the people of Afghanistan face a clear danger from the perpetrators of such acts of terrorism and their patrons. The scourge of terrorism must be resolutely opposed, resisted and overcome through undiluted commitment and effort by the international community,” the Minister said in the statement.
The attacks on the Indian Embassy in Kabul in July 2008 and October 2009 had claimed the lives of Indian diplomats and officials and several Afghan nationals.
Government also extended its sincere condolences to the families of all those who have lost their lives in the dastardly attack, including the families of the Indian officials who laid down their lives in the line of duty.
“Though the irreplaceable loss of these families can never be recompensed, all necessary steps will be taken for the welfare of the dependants of the deceased officials,” the statement said.