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Taliban spring back

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HT reports:

All Indians are safe in Afghanistan after heavily-armed Taliban suicide bombers unleashed a wave of coordinated attacks in Kabul and three other cities and the situation is being closely watched by the Indian government. “Indian Ambasador in Afghanistan Gautam Mukhopadhyay has briefed external affairs minister SM Krishna, who is presently on a visit to UAE, about the ground situation following the terror strikes,” official sources said.

The sources said all Indians are safe and government was closely watching the situation after explosions and firing rocked different areas in Kabul including at the diplomatic enclave.

The ministry of external affairs in a statement said it was in constant touch with the Embassy in Kabul and all Indians are reported to be safe.

The Afghan government’s interior ministry said on Sunday that initial intelligence on a wave of insurgent attacks across the country pointed to involvement of the militant Haqqani Network.

“It’s too early to say, but the initial findings show the Haqqanis were involved,” interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi told Reuters.

Sediqqi said figting had ended in the eastern provinces of Paktia and Nangarhar, but continued in parts of central Kabul including the upmarket Sher Pur neighbourhood and a major supermarket favoured by expatriate Westerners.

Gunmen launched multiple attacks in the Afghan capital Kabul on Sunday, assaulting Western embassies in the heavily guarded, central diplomatic area and at the parliament in the west.

AFP reported that the Afghan forces are dealing quite competently with the attacks:

US Ambassador Ryan Crocker to Kabul said the ability of Afghan security forces to respond to a wave of coordinated attacks Sunday across Afghanistan were a “clear sign of progress.”

“We’ve seen a very professional performance by Afghan security forces,” Crocker told CNN on Sunday after militants launched a series of gun and suicide attacks which they said marked the start of a spring offensive.

“They are able to deal with events like this on their own. A clear sign of progress,” he said.

Reuters added:

The Interior Ministry said that initial intelligence on the wave of attacks across the country pointed to involvement of the Haqqani network, which is allied with the Taliban and one the most deadly groups fighting U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan.

If the Haqqanis were involved, that is likely to hurt already strained ties between strategic allies the United States and Pakistan.

The United States has repeatedly urged the Pakistani military to go after the Haqqani network, which is believed to be based in Pakistan’s North Waziristan region on the Afghan border.

Sunday’s attack took place hours after dozens of Islamist militants stormed a prison in neighboring Pakistan in the dead of night and freed nearly 400 inmates, including one on death row for trying to assassinate former President Pervez Musharraf.

Pakistan’s Taliban movement, which is close to al Qaeda, said it was behind the brazen assault by militants armed with rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47 assault rifles.

Pakistan’s Taliban are closely linked with their Afghan counterparts. They move back and forth across the unmarked border, exchange intelligence, and provide shelter for each other in a region U.S. President Barack Obama has described as “the most dangerous place in the world”.

Pakistan’s Taliban have said in recent months they would boost cooperation with the Afghan Taliban in their fight against U.S.-led NATO forces.

Both the attacks in Afghanistan and the jailbreak in Pakistan underscore Pakistan’s failure to tackle militancy on both sides of the border eleven years after joining the U.S.-led campaign against Islamist militancy.

India-Pakistan relations must take into account that Pakistan is no longer a state. While it is not a failed state in the sense that Somalia is, there are clearly multiple power centers: the civilian administration, the military, the terrorists, and so on. Structurally, Pakistan is closer to Afghanistan than anyone is willing to admit. Just as India has evolved a nuanced policy in Afghanistan, it has to learn to deal with multiple entities in Pakistan. The Indian foreign service should be capable of replicating its Afghan policy in Pakistan.

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Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

April 15, 2012 at 4:36 pm

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