New Delhi: India has expressed grave concern over the spike in terror attacks in Afghanistan and demanded that states “hosting" terrorists and their sanctuaries must eliminate them immediately.
Condemning the “barbaric" attack on an army camp in Kandahar province in which 43 soldiers were killed, the ministry of external affairs said the recent strikes “demonstrate" that safe havens and support systems continue to be available to terrorists.
“We strongly condemn the barbaric attack today at the Afghan National Army base in Kandahar province," the ministry said in a statement on Thursday. It said India is “gravely" concerned at the escalation of terrorist violence against Afghanistan, despite hopes kindled recently by new strategies as well as efforts to bring peace in the country.
“Coming on the heels of similar tragedies in Paktia and Ghazni, we share the grief of the families of the victims and the suffering of the Afghan people," the ministry said. In what is being seen as a clear reference to Pakistan, it added, “States hosting the terrorists and their sanctuaries must eliminate them immediately and without distinction."
These concerns were also highlighted by the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday, the statement said. “The beginning of Afghan-owned and Afghan-led national reconciliation requires an end to violence."
It added, “India expresses solidarity with the people and the Government of Afghanistan in these difficult times." In his visit to Kabul earlier this week, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval met Afghan president Ashraf Ghani, chief executive Abdullah Abdullah and the top brass of the country’s military establishment. Issues relating to defence and security cooperation were discussed during the meetings.
At least 43 Afghan soldiers were killed and nine wounded in a Taliban-claimed assault on a military base in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday. The terrorists blasted their way into the compound with at least one explosives-laden Humvee, the Afghan defence ministry said.