India puts Kabul medical mission on hold
Kabul: As a precautionary step following the recent attack on Indians in the Afghan capital, the Indian government has put a temporary halt on its medical activities there.
The medical mission of India in Kabul will remain suspended till a thorough security review of the situation is conducted to ensure the safety of the staff.
All doctors and paramedical staff working at Indira Gandhi Children’s Hospital have been asked to return home.
Sources also added that there was not enough staff to run the mission as one of them was killed and some others injured in the assault.
However the 11-member mission would resume as soon as adequate staff
is available again. In the meantime, tele-medicine will continue to be available to Afghans from Chandigarh`s PGI and a Lucknow hospital.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had asserted yesterday that the attack would not "bend the will" of India to help people of Afghanistan.
On Friday, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, who is on a two-day visit to the neighbouring country, had met Afghan President Hamid Karzai and discussed the issue of security of about 4,000 Indians here for which he carried certain proposals.
On the first day of his visit on Friday, NSA held detailed deliberations with Karzai on various aspects related to safety of the Indians who are engaged in various developmental and reconstruction projects across Afghanistan.
Menon also met his Afghan counterpart Rangin Dadfar Spanta and enquired about the progress in investigations into the February 26 Kabul attack in which Indians were specifically targeted.
Seven Indians, including three major-rank officers of the Army, were killed in the attack that targeted guest houses frequented by Indians.
The safety proposals include setting up of protected venues where the Indians working on projects could be housed.
There are also suggestions for deploying security personnel at places where Indians work.
These proposals can be implemented by the Afghan authorities.
Meanwhile, speculations are running rife that India may also issue a call to suspend some of its other projects in the restive country.
Around 4,000 Indians are working on various projects in areas like healthcare, power, education and social sector in Kabul.
with Agencies inputs
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