PM Dr. Singh states that Kabul attacks “will not bend the will of the people of India”; Holbrooke expresses regret over his remarks on Kabul attack; Karzai assures NSA Menon of steps to protect Indians; Six dead in twin blasts in Kandahar;
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Whatsapp
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • With Maj. Ritesh Roy of Army Education Corps succumbing to his injuries in New Delhi on March 3, the number of Indians killed in the Kabul attack rose to seven.1 Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh strongly condemned the attacks in Parliament, stating that “such attacks will not bend the will of the people of India.” Condemning the cowardly act, Dr. Singh pointed out that “Indian nationals were in Afghanistan on a mission of goodwill and friendship helping to construct the peaceful and democratic Afghanistan that our Afghan friends desire.”2

    US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke has meanwhile apologized for his remarks suggesting that Indians were not targeted in the February 26 suicide attacks in Kabul. Holbrooke clarified that he did not say Indians were not targeted, but that initially it appeared that the target was not an “official” Indian facility and added that “we all know that Indian citizens have and continue to be targeted by terrorists, including inside Afghanistan.”3

    National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon on a visit to Kabul met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and discussed the security situation arising out of the attack on Indians. Karzai assured Mr. Menon that his government would take all steps to protect the lives of people engaged in humanitarian and reconstruction work.4 Mr. Menon however announced in a press conference that medical mission to Afghanistan has been “temporarily suspended.”5

    Four civilians and a foreign soldier were killed on March 1 when a suicide car bomber hit a convoy of NATO troops near Kandhahar. In another blast a few hours later outside the main police station in Kandhahar, a police officer was killed and 16 people were injured.6 The Afghan government meanwhile announced broad restrictions on the live coverage of militant attacks, stating that it would also prohibit foreign and national news media from getting close to the scene of attacks.7

    Gen. McChrystal issued new directives ordering coalition forces to avoid night raids or bring Afghan troops if they must enter homes after dark. The changes in the policy are intended to address complaints regarding coalition operations.8

    Prime Minister Gordon Brown visited British troop bases in Afghanistan during the week. Brown expressed his gratitude to the nearly 4,000 British troops who took part in the opening phase of Operation Moshtarak and thanked them for “their dedication and their professionalism."9