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ISI, al Qaeda planned Kabul blast: Sources

TimePublished on Wed, Jul 09, 2008 at 08:55, Updated at Wed, Jul 09, 2008 in World section

ATTACK ON INDIAN EMBASSY: Sources say ISI in collaboration with the Taliban/Al Qaeda planned and executed the attack.

ATTACK ON INDIAN EMBASSY: Sources say ISI in collaboration with the Taliban/Al Qaeda planned and executed the attack.

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New Delhi: The Afghanistan government and Indian Intelligence Agencies have confirmed that some elements within the ISI in collaboration with the Taliban/Al Qaeda planned and executed the attack on the Indian embassy.

Intelligence sources told CNN-IBN that Azam Khan, the ISI Station Head in Kabul, is collaborating with the Taliban to destabilise India's strategic presence in Afghanistan.

Sources say that the Pakistani Army, specifically, the 324 Military Intelligence Battalion based in Peshawar, was involved in planning the attack on the Indian Embassy with the help of the Taliban/Al Qaeda.

"The sophistication of this attack and the kind of material that was used in it, and the specific targeting, everything has the hallmark of a particular intelligence agency that has conducted similar terrorist acts in Afghanistan. So, we have sufficient evidence to say that,” says Afghan presidential spokesman, Humayun Hamidzada.

Afghanistan has once again become a hotbed of Pakistani intelligence operations. And a major cause is India's increasing involvement in strategic infrastructure projects in the region.

India's influence is growing steadily in Afghanistan. It has invested over Rs 3,248 crore in aid, half of which is going into building a hydel Project in Herat, a transmission line to provide power to Kabul, Afghanistan's new parliament, and the vital Zaranj-Delaram road that will give landlocked Afghanistan access to the sea through Iran.

The Indian government is setting up hospitals, schools, and facilities for telecommunication, broadcasting and IT.

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has on different occasions spoken highly of India's participation in rebuilding his country. However, this participation by India is resented by Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence, which has been using Pakistan as a backyard for mobilising Jehadi terrorist groups.

“I think at the end of the day when the investigation starts there will be some link with Pakistan because they are the ones behind the Taliban and this is what Karzai and other people in the government have been saying,” says Strategic Affairs Analyst, Mandeep Bajwa.

He adds, “Karzai government has been blaming Pakistan for helping, aiming and abetting Taliban and being behind the way suicide bombings and guerilla attacks are held in Afghanistan.”

Meanwhile, for the success of India's pro-active engagements in Afghanistan the Indian government will have to prepare for the long haul and as many analysts have suggested, India will have to strengthen the physical security of the Indians involved in rebuilding Afghanistan.

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