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Kabul attack not against India: Holbrooke
The view of the US Special Envoy on Afghanistan has taken India by surprise.
Washington: US Special Envoy on Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke says he does not agree that the recent terror strike in Kabul specifically targeted Indians, a view that has taken India by surprise.
Holbrooke also cautioned against jumping to conclusions notwithstanding the statement of even Afghan President Hamid Karzai soon after the February 26 terror strike on a Kabul hotel that it was an attack on Indians.
"In regard to this attack, I don't accept the fact that this was an attack on an Indian facility like the (Indian) embassy. They were foreigners, non-Indian foreigners hurt. It was a soft target. Let's not jump to conclusions," Holbrooke told reporters in Washington responding to questions on the attack in which six Indians were among the 16 persons killed.
A spokesman for Afghanistan's intelligence service was also quoted as saying Wednesday that his agency has evidence that Pakistanis, specifically Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, were involved in the attacks. The LeT has been blamed for the Mumbai terror attack in 2008.
"I understand why everyone in Pakistan and everyone in India always focuses on the other. But please, let's not draw a conclusion for which there's no proof," Holbrooke said.
Sources in New Delhi said the comments were surprising considering the fact that the Afghan government has clearly stated that attack was against Indians and carried out by LeT whose sworn agenda is to target Indian interests.
The sources also wondered on what basis Holbrooke made the statement that has apparently upset India.
Afghanistan's intelligence service has said that the attack was directed against Indians and gunmen had detailed knowledge, including names, of Indian guests at the two hotels -- Park Residency and Noor Guest House, which were targeted.
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