India welcomed a Pentagon report that points fingers at Pakistan for allowing Afghan- and Indian-focused militants to continue to operate from its soil “to the detriment of Afghan and regional stability”.
External affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said the Pentagon report “manifests a growing acknowledgement in the international community of the extent of Pakistan’s involvement in international terrorism”.
The Pentagon told the US Congress in its latest six-monthly report on the current situation in Afghanistan: “Afghan- and Indian-focused militants continue to operate from Pakistan territory to the detriment of Afghan and regional stability.”
“Pakistan uses these proxy forces to hedge against the loss of influence in Afghanistan and to counter India’s superior military. These relationships run counter to Pakistan’s public commitment to support Afghan-led reconciliation.”
Referring to the attack on the Indian consulate in Herat, the Pentagon said it occurred just ahead of the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi as the prime minister.
“In May of this reporting period, the Indian consulate in Herat province was attacked by a group of four heavily armed militants. The attack came three days prior to the swearing-in of the new Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi.”
“Prime Minister Modi is perceived as being close to Hindu nationalist groups, a fact that may have played into the timing of the attack,” it said.
“In June, the US Department of State announced that the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba was responsible for the attack. Following the attack, former Afghan president (Hamid) Karzai denounced the attack and made strong statements supporting relations with India,” the report said.