Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday held talks with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai during which they discussed ways to enhance cooperation in key areas and the recent attack on the Indian consulate in Herat that the Afghan leader maintains was carried out by Lashkar-e-Toiba.
During his first bilateral meeting with any international leader after assuming charge, Modi thanked Karzai for the assistance provided by the Afghan forces in repelling the attack on the consulate and said it had “only strengthened our resolve to work together with Afghanistan”.
Modi reiterated India’s commitment to the development and reconstruction of Afghanistan and its interest in seeing a prosperous, independent and sovereign Afghanistan, where the reconciliation process would be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled, said Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh.
Singh was briefing the reporters about the meetings of the newly-elected PM on his first working day with South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation heads of state, invited for the swearing-in ceremony of Modi on Monday.
Asked about Karzai’s remarks on Monday that terrorist group LeT was behind the attack on the Indian consulate and if same was raised in the meeting, Singh merely said, “Yes. There was a discussion (on terror attack)” and the views of Afghan president were in the public domain.
Karzai had on Monday had said, “According to information given to us by a Western intelligence agency, the perpetrators of the Herat attack belonged to the LeT. This was mentioned in writing in the report shared with us.”
In response to a query on India and Afghanistan being victims of Pakistan-sponsored terror, President Karzai said “both Afghanistan and India hope that relevant authorities in Pakistan will react and uproot the source and sanctuary of terror in Pakistan”.
The meeting with Karzai was followed by Modi’s talks with Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom and other SAARC leaders at the ceremonial Hyderabad House.