Kandahar attack: India calls for dismantling terror sanctuaries


afghan-kandaharIndia, a leading development and strategic partner of Afghanistan, has voiced strong condemnation over the savage attack at Afghan army personnel and called for an end to safe havens and terrorists’ sanctuaries, a veiled reference to Pakistan’s suspected role in supporting terror in the neighbouring country.

“We strongly condemn the barbaric attack at the Afghan National Army base in Kandahar province. 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,” India’s External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

A Taliban-claimed pre-dawn attack on an Afghanistan army base in Maywand district in Kandahar on October 19 has left at least 43 soldiers killed and several injured. The deadly attack has drawn worldwide condemnation as a cowardly act of terrorism which has almost wiped off an entire army unit.

In a tactic similar to the one used in carrying out attacks in southeast provinces of Ghazni and Paktia just two days back in which over 70 people, including over 40 policemen, lost their lives, the militants rammed into the compound of the Chashmawi military base at around 2.50 am with a military vehicle packed with explosives.

Using stolen military vehicles like Humvees and Ranger trucks to storm compounds of security forces has become a favoured tactic of the Taliban since they can pass without causing suspicion through checkpoints and security installations.

Despite the US’s renewed military engagement in Afghanistan and initiatives by several countries in the region, including India, to find a lasting solution to the Taliban insurgency, there has been an increase in the terrorist attacks lately.

In an oblique reference to Pakistan’s role in supporting terror outfits targeting Afghanistan, New Delhi said: “The terror attacks demonstrate that safe havens and support systems continue to be available to the terrorists.”

“The beginning of Afghan-owned and Afghan-led national reconciliation requires an end to violence. States hosting the terrorists and their sanctuaries must eliminate them immediately and without distinction. These concerns were also highlighted yesterday by the United Nations Security Council,” India’s external affairs ministry said.