The Australian government has set up a high-level group to look into the causes of the continuing attacks on Indians in its country.

This was conveyed to External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna on Wednesday when he met his Australian counterpart Stephen Smith here, ahead of a conference of world leaders on Afghanistan which opens on Thursday.

Mr. Krishna, who conveyed to Mr. Smith India’s deep concern on the issue, said he was satisfied with the assurance he got. He stressed that India-Australian relations remained strong but called for “clarity” on why Indians were becoming targets of what is seen in India as “racist” attacks.

Mr. Krishna also met British Foreign Secretary David Miliband. The two were reported to have discussed bilateral relations and India’s role in the reconstruction of Afghanistan where New Delhi is engaged in a massive humanitarian mission.

The Afghanistan summit, hosted by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, is expected to produce a plan for “stabilising” Afghanistan with countries whose troops are deployed there likely to agree to set up a “Peace and Reintegration Trust Fund” to bankroll moderate Taliban to switch sides.

“The hope is that the Afghans will present the plan in London. Then the Americans, the British and the Japanese will open up the purse strings and bankroll it to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars,” The Times reported.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is attending the conference.