India warns of danger from Pakistan militants
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Last Updated: Sunday, October 11, 2009, 11:04
  
Mumbai: Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has warned of a clear and present danger to the international community from militants in Pakistan after a bomb attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul that it has hinted may have come from across the border.

Thursday's blast, which the Taliban claimed responsibility for, killed 17 people but harmed no embassy staff.

"The international community and indeed the people of Afghanistan face a clear and present danger from the perpetrators of such wanton acts of terrorism and their patrons residing across the border," Nirupama Rao said.

"The attack was clearly the handiwork of those who are desperate to undermine Indo-Afghan friendship," Rao said in a statement late on Saturday.

Rao had gone to Kabul on Friday to inspect the site of the bomb attack but had declined to assign blame at the time, when asked if India thought Pakistan was behind the attack.

India has in the past accused Paskistan's ISI spy agency of being behind attacks on Indian interest in Afghanistan. An attack on the same Kabul embassy last year killed 58 people.

After a tour of the attack site, Rao met Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Foreign Minister Rangeen Dafdar Spanta and National Security Advisor Zalmai Rassoul, the statement said.

"They were unanimous in their view that the attack was carried out by elements from outside Afghanistan seeking to damage the excellent relations that exist between India and Afghanistan," the statement said.

Analysts say militants maybe trying to force India to scale down its presence in Afghanistan, where it is spending $1.2 billion dollars on development projects, and pre-empt any plans by the west to involve New Delhi in stabilising the region.

Pakistan competes with India for strategic space in Afghanistan and sees it as a fall-back position in the event of a war with India.

India-Pakistan rivalry has been highlighted as a factor that could complicate efforts to stabilise the region.

Bureau Report


First Published: Sunday, October 11, 2009, 11:04


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