A high-level meeting, chaired by Cabinet Secretary B K Chaturvedi, on Saturday reviewed the situation arising out of the abduction of an Indian engineer in Afghanistan by Taliban who have threatened to kill the hostage in 24 hours if all Indians do not leave the country.
India condemned the abduction, saying it was an attempt by the Taliban and "other hostile elements" to intimidate Indian and other international and Afghan workers engaged in the reconsruction of Afghanistan and improving the lives of its people.
"The Cabinet secretary took the meeting of senior officials to review the situation" arising out of the kidnapping of K Suryanarayan, who was working for a Bahrain-based engineering company Al Moayed, the external affairs ministry said in a statement.
Among those present at the meeting were officials of the Ministries of External Affairs and Home Affairs, sources said.
The government instructed the Indian Embassy in Kabul to keep in closeand constant touch with the local authorities and the companies concerned, the statement said.
Theembassy has also been instructed to reiterate security instructions to all Indians working in Afghanistan and to request the companies employing them to reinforce their security, the statement said.
Forty-one-year-oldSuryanarayan was kidnapped along with his Afghan driver while he was travelling towards Qalat, capital of Zabul province, on Friday evening.
Hewas working for Al Moayed, which is currently undertaking a project for Roshan Telecom, an Afghan mobile telephone service provider.
Suryanarayan had gone to the site of the company's work about 60 km from Ghazni around 1330hours local time.
Theexternal affairs ministry said Suryanarayan's family has been informed about the incident and reassured of the efforts being made by the government to secure his release.
Ministerof State for External Affairs E Ahamed said Regional Passport Officer in Hyderabad B B Bhaskar met Suryanarayan's family on Saturday afternoon and conveyed the government's sympathy and support in the wake of the "unfortunate" incident.