The attack on the Indian mission in Kabul is “clearly the handiwork of those who are desperate to undermine Indo-Afghan friendship and do not believe in a strong, democratic and pluralistic Afghanistan,” Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said here on Saturday.

During her October 9-10 Kabul visit, Ms. Rao met President Hamid Karzai, Foreign Minister Dafdar Rangin Spanta and National Security Adviser Zalmai Rassoul, all of whom were unanimous that Thursday’s attack was carried out by elements outside Afghanistan seeking to damage the excellent relations between the two countries.

Ms. Rao reiterated New Delhi’s “unwavering commitment to pursue our bilateral development partnership and assist the people of Afghanistan in realising a democratic, peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan.”

The Foreign Secretary said the international community and the people of Afghanistan faced a clear and present danger from the perpetrators of such wanton acts of terrorism and their patrons residing across the border.

Ms. Rao said that after inspecting the chancery, she made a spot assessment of the devastation caused by the blast. She met officers and staff of the embassy, including two members of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police contingent who sustained shrapnel injuries.

The Foreign Secretary complimented them on their bravery and dedication under such trying circumstances, and assured them that the government would take all measures to ensure their safety, security and welfare.

Ms. Rao also extended her condolences to the families of the Afghans who lost their lives in the attack, particularly the families of the two security personnel whose presence of mind and alertness, she said, prevented what could have been a far greater tragedy.

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