Kabul attack will not bend India’s will: Manmohan

New Delhi, March 5 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday said the Feb 26 terror attack in Kabul that killed 7 Indians will not bend the will of Indian people to help Afghanistan and vowed to assist that country in shaping its destiny without ‘outside interference.’

The entire nation was outraged by the most recent brutal attack in Kabul on February 26 which has led to the loss of 7 innocent Indian lives, Manmohan Singh told parliament.

‘These Indian nationals were in Afghanistan on a mission of goodwill and friendship helping to construct the peaceful and democratic Afghanistan that our Afghan friends desire,’ he said.

‘We condemn this cowardly act,’ he added.

‘I wish to assure this House that such attacks will not bend the will of the people of India,’ the prime minister said, adding that Indian assistance in the reconstruction has received widespread support among the people of Afghanistan.

Manmohan Singh said Afghan President Hamid Karzai had telephoned him last week and assured him that all steps will be taken to ensure the security of Indians there.

‘I assured him (Karzai) of any support and assistance that may be required,’ the prime minister said.

‘We are closely monitoring the developments with regard to Afghanistan and we will assist the people of Afghanistan in securing their legitimate right to determine their destiny in the manner they chose without outside interference,’ the prime minister said.

Suicide bombers struck at a hotel and a guest house Feb 26 in central Kabul, killing seven Indians, including two army majors, in what Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Jayant Prasad has described as a ’26/11-like operation.’

The prime minister’s comments came on a day National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon arrived in Kabul to take stock of the progress in the probe into the Feb 26 attack in Kabul.

Menon will also review the security of around 4,000 Indians engaged in various reconstruction activities in that country.

India has pledged $1.3 billion for reconstruction of the violence-wracked country.

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