Diplomats mourn officer’s death in Kabul terror attack


New Delhi : The Indian Foreign Service Association Monday expressed “anguish and sorrow” at the death of V. Venkateswara Rao, a counsellor in the Indian mission in Kabul who was among the four Indians killed in a suicide attack in the Afghan capital.

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Diplomats held a condolence meeting in South Block and showered praises on Rao, “a bright and energetic officer” of the IFS. They expressed “extreme distress” that he had had “to lay down his life to a cowardly act of terrorism.”

Rao, a 1990 batch IFS officer, had served in missions in Berlin, Colombo, Kathmandu and Washington before being posted to Kabul.

His death in the car bomb attack targeting the Indian mission in Kabul Monday morning came as a “huge shock” to the diplomats as this was probably the first time an Indian diplomat had died in a major terrorist attack.

“His latest tour of duty in Kabul under extremely difficult conditions, revealed his determination, sincerity and a courage of immeasurable proportions,” a resolution by the diplomats’ forum said here.

“His death, while answering the highest call of duty, will be an inspiration to all of us, reflecting the professionalism that our service represents,” the resolution said while conveying heartfelt sympathies and condolences to Rao’s family.

The IFSA also conveyed condolences to the families of Brigadier R.D. Mehta, defence attaché at the Indian mission in Kabul, Ajai Pathaniya and Roop Singh of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) which guards the Indian mission.