Kabul promises adequate security for Indians
New Delhi's concerns are heightened due to resurgence of Taliban that have abducted and killed two Indians during the last one year.india Updated: Jan 24, 2007 20:30 IST
Afghanistan has taken adequate measures to ensure security of Indians working in that country and promised to do more in view of New Delhi's concern on their safety.
This was conveyed to External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee by Afghanistan leaders during his two-day visit here which concluded on Wednesday.
The assurance was given when Mukherjee raised the issue of the safety of thousands of Indians due to persisting threats from Taliban.
Taliban militia have abducted and killed two Indians during the last one year and demanded that all reconstruction projects being pursued by India in the war-ravaged country be wound up.
Thousands of Indians are working in reconstruction projects in Afghanistan launched after toppling of Taliban regime in 2002 and several of them have received threats from terrorists.
New Delhi's concerns are heightened due to resurgence of Taliban over the last few months.
Noting that Afghanistan is also worried over Taliban's re-emergence, Mukherjee told journalists accompanying him that there was need to curb activities of the militia which is operating from "border areas".
He underlined that Taliban is the main hindrance in the path of reconstruction and development of war-torn country and implied that international forces, including NATO, needed to do more to crush the fundamentalist militia.
"If development process (in Afghanistan) has to succeed, the re-emergence of Taliban and its activities should be checked," said the External Affairs Minister who discussed the issue with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta on Tuesday.
Mukherjee asserted that India remains committed to assisting Afghanistan in its reconstruction and development and in this regard had raised the amount of aid from $650 million to $750 million.
Addressing a gathering of Indians here last evening, he said each one of them was New Delhi's "ambassador" engaged in "strategic task" of building relations between the two countries and their efforts will go a long way in further revitalising the strong ties.
Referring to problems posed by Taliban, he said the militia's launching infrastructure and support is based in Afghanistan's border, an inference to Pakistan.
The problem of cross-border figured prominently in Mukherjee's discussions with Afghan leaders, with both sides agreeing that it was affecting peace and security in the region.
"We shared the need for maintaining peace and security in the region. The main problem to it is cross-border terrorism of which both India and Afghanistan are victims," the minister said.
First Published: Jan 24, 2007 18:49 IST