India lost a total of 17 citizens engaged in projects in Afghanistan, but it would not scale down its activities there, the government told the Lok Sabha today.
Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur said the government had ensured financial and other assistance to families of Indian officials and Indians, who were killed in Afghanistan while working on projects taken up by India there.
It included ex-gratia compensation, insurance payments, liberalised pensionary benefits and other admissible benefits, she said during Question Hour, adding employees of private firms were provided compensation by their company.
The Minister said no Indian was among those killed in Afghanistan in 2007, but nine Indians lost their lives in 2008 including seven in the terror attack on its Embassy in Kabul, one in 2009 (a private firm employee) and seven in 2010 (in a terror attack on a hotel).
Pointing out that India had "no plan to scale down" its activities in Afghanistan, Kaur said its commitment to assist Afghan people and government in building a peaceful, pluralistic, democratic and prosperous nation remained undiluted.
She said the Indian government had comprehensively reviewed and enhanced security measures for the safety of personnel and other Indians working in Afghanistan.
"It is also in regular touch with the Afghan government, which has assured necessary security for Indians in that country," she said.
Noting that Indian nationals registered with the Embassy in Kabul are regularly advised about the prevailing security scenario in the country through advisories, she said it outlined the precautions needed to be taken for their safety.