New Delhi: India on Wednesday “strongly condemned the cowardly terrorist attack” on Afghan Vice-president (VP) Amrullah Saleh who survived the terror attack, saying “India stands with Afghanistan in the fight to eradicate terror infrastructure and sponsors for enduring peace in Afghanistan”.
The word “sponsors” used by New Delhi is being seen as a thinly-veiled reference to Pakistan which has historically backed various terror groups in Afghanistan.
India, which is a strong supporter of the Afghan Government, has nevertheless supported the Afghan peace process between the Afghan Government and the Pakistan-backed Taliban but is worried over the prospect of a growing role for the Taliban in the strife-torn country. Saleh is reportedly a former Afghan Intelligence chief and staunch critic of the Taliban and is hated by Pakistan-backed terror groups.
MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava tweeted, “India strongly condemns cowardly terrorist attack on Afghan VP Amrullah Saleh. Our condolences to martyrs and prayers with injured. India stands with Afghanistan in the fight to eradicate terror infrastructure and sponsors for enduring peace in Afghanistan.”
According to media reports, a roadside bomb in Kabul targeted Saleh on Wednesday morning but while he escaped the attack, 10 others were killed and at least 15 were wounded. The Taliban has reportedly denied responsibility.
According to these reports, in a video posted on Facebook soon after the explosion, Saleh, with bandages on his left hand, said he had been travelling to his office when his convoy was attacked. Saleh was quoted as saying, “I am fine but some of my guards have been wounded. My son, who was in the car with me, and I are both fine. I have some burns on my face and hand. The blast was strong.”