Lieutenant General (Retired) Raj Kadyan, who is a former Deputy Chief of Army Staff, on Friday predicted that Afghanistan is going to be a foreign policy challenge for the incoming Narendra Modi government, and that it should toughen its stand while dealing with Pakistan.
"It is an unfortunate attack that has taken place in our consulate in Afghanistan. This is not the first time that our diplomatic mission has been attacked, and this may not be the last one.
Afghanistan is going to be one of the foreign policy challenges for Modi Government to face.
Pakistan obviously wants Afghanistan to be under its wings within its sphere of influence after US and NATO forces withdraw by the end of the year, which will be against India's interest," Lt. Gen. Kadyan said.
He said that the good part was that no staffs from the Indian mission got killed although such attacks was not unlikely.
"India wants some kind of presence in Afghanistan and it wants a friendly Government in Afghanistan so as to contain Pakistan. This kind of attack perhaps was not unlikely but it has come too soon. The good part is that none of our consulate staffs has been killed," he said.
He claimed that there could be two likely reasons for the attack taking place in the Indian consulate in Herat.
"Normally when such attacks take place, they always inflict casualties on the target, if that has not taken place, it is a clear indication that the attack has been planned in a great hurry. This could be a signal to Modi as many had anticipated that these kind of attacks are going to increase not only in Afghanistan but perhaps also within India territory. It could also be related to the invitation which Modi has extended to Nawaz Sharif to attend his swearing in ceremony, this could be a signal to Sharif to keep him away from improving relations with India, if that conclusion is correct then obviously the ISI and the Pakistani Army have a hand in having it organised," Lt. Gen. Kadyan claimed.
Lt. Gen. Kadyan said that the previous government-led by UPA was soft in actions and he asked the new Government to reverse it with strong in its actions but soft in its words. "Our response to it is one of course is a passive response that we should tighten our security, we have to be aggressive. It is unfortunate that the UPA while strong in words but soft with its actions, the new Government should have an attitude where they should be soft with words but stern with actions, therefore a strong signal needs to go to Pakistan."
Afghanistan's Ambassador to India Shaida Mohammad Abdali on Friday said that the security operation in Herat following an attack on the Indian consulate has been completed, and confirmed the deaths of all four terrorists.
In an exclusive interview to ANI, Abdali said, "I just spoke to the security commandos in Afghanistan and learnt that the operation they started in Herat, against the terrorists, has been completed, and all four terrorists have been killed. The operation was completed by our forces,;, we will see as to who will take the responsibility for this attack."
"We must compliment the forces for their courageous work. The mission and the staff are safe and sound. This attack is an attack on the great relationship between India and Afghanistan and they are trying to tamper that through such attacks," he further told ANI.
"The enemies have tried to do this in the past as well but they must know that they are deadly wrong to expect this relation to be affected through this attack. In fact our relations will grow stronger," he added.
The Indian Consulate in Herat in Afghanistan was attacked this morning.
According to media reports, Afghan police officials had earlier said that three gunmen armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades opened fire on the consulate early this morning from a nearby home. Police killed two of them, though two e continued to fire on security forces.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.