New Delhi : In an oblique message to Pakistan, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna Tuesday said that acts of terror will not deter India from the reconstruction of Afghanistan and paid homage to Indian diplomats killed in the attack on the Indian mission in Kabul last year.
“We are committed to fulfilling our pledges towards the reconstruction of Afghanistan and to cementing our traditional friendship with the Afghan people,” Krishna said.
“Acts of terrorism will not deter us, but will only strengthen our resolve to counter and bring to book those responsible,” Krishna said on the occasion of the launch of “India’s Foreign Relations – 2008 Documents”.
“Words cannot make good the loss felt by the family members, but the best that we in the Foreign Service establishment can do is to ensure that their sacrifice does not go in vain,” he said amidst scores of Indian diplomats who had gathered in an act of homage to two Indian diplomats and two ITBP personnel killed in the July 7, 2008, attack on the Indian mission in Kabul.
The book is dedicated to the memory of V. Venkateswara Rao and Brigadier R.D. Mehta, Indian diplomats who were killed in the terrorist attack.
Krishna presented a copy of the book to Malathi Rao, the widow of Venkateswara Rao.
The attack was blamed on Pakistan-backed Taliban militants and it put composite dialogue under stress. Pakistan has denied any involvement in the attacks.
Underlining India’s unflinching commitment to the reconstruction of the war-torn country that is deeply resented by Pakistan, Krishna alluded to the attack on the headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul on Aug 15, India’s Independence Day.
The attack took place barely 70 metres from the Indian ambassador’s residence in Kabul.
“The shockwaves of the blast damaged most doors and windows of the ambassador’s residence. Notwithstanding the explosion, our embassy in Kabul went ahead with the Independence Day flag hoisting function and the reception,” he said.
“Independence Day was also duly observed by our posts in Jalalabad and Kandahar despite the very difficult security environment,” he added.
India has pledged $1.2 billion for various reconstruction activities in Afghanistan.