M A I N   N E W S

Attacks on Indians
NSA talks security with Karzai

Kabul, March 5
In the backdrop of the latest terror attack targeting Indians, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon today met Afghan President Hamid Karzai and discussed the issue of security of about 4,000 Indians here for which he carried certain proposals.

Menon, who arrived here this morning on a two-day visit, held detailed deliberations with Karzai on various aspects related to safety of the Indians who are engaged in various developmental and reconstruction projects across Afghanistan.

Menon also met his Afghan counterpart Rangin Dadfar Spanta and enquired about the progress in investigations into the February 26 Kabul attack in which Indians were specifically targeted.

Seven Indians, including three major-rank officers of the Army, were killed in the attack that targeted guest houses frequented by Indians. Concerned about the safety of its nationals in Afghanistan after the latest attack, Indian government has evolved certain proposals for their security.

The proposals include setting up of protected venues where the Indians working on projects could be housed. There are also suggestions for deploying security personnel at places where Indians work. These proposals can be implemented by the Afghan authorities.

Sources in the Indian government noted that the Afghan government has always been cooperative in this regard and expressed confidence that it would take further steps to upgrade security of Indians.

As part of India's $ 1.3 billion assistance, about 4,000 Indians are working on various projects in areas like healthcare, power, education and social sector.

The attack of February 26 reflected a change of strategy by the terrorists as they chose soft targets rather than secure installations like the Embassy or Consulates and their protected personnel as in the past.

After the terror strike, Karzai assured Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that his government would take extra measures to protect Indians.

Besides discussing security, Menon is also expected to enquire about the progress of investigation into the incident.

Afghan authorities have said the attack was carried out by Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba. However, investigators suspect involvement of Taliban faction of Haqqani too. PTI



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