Afghanistan vowed to neutralise elements behind the third major attack on Indian diplomats and government personnel while South Block hinted at the collusion of people with bases in the tribal regions of Pakistan.
A late night telephone conversation between External Affair Minister Salman Khurshid and his Afghan counterpart Zalmay Rassoul saw Kabul promising that it will “leave no stone unturned” to ensure the safety of Indian diplomatic personnel. Kabul was determined to counter the efforts of those inimical to India’s friendship with Afghanistan, he added.
In his phone call to Mr. Rassoul, Mr. Khurshid thanked him for the efforts by Afghan forces in ensuring the safety of the Consulate General of India in Jalalabad.
Pakistan also strongly condemned the attack.
India in a more detailed statement noted the injuries and deaths of several “valiant” Afghan Police personnel as well as deaths of several innocent civilians including children which it felt must be condemned.
More pertinently, it said the attack had again highlighted that the main threat to Afghanistan’s security and stability stemmed from “terrorism and the terror machine that continues to operate from beyond its borders”.
India, said Foreign Office spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin, would not be deterred from its commitment to assist Afghanistan in its reconstruction and development effort. “This was clearly an attack not just against India but an attack against the efforts to help the Afghan people overcome the hardships they have endured due to several decades of war,” he said.
Mr. Akbaruddin also underlined India’s gratitude to the Afghan security personnel who laid down their lives while protecting the Consulate.