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India won’t scale down activities in Afghanistan
New Delhi, Apr 21 (IANS)
Published on 21 Apr. 2010 11:49 PM IST
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Ruling out any scaling down of India’s reconstruction activities in Afghanistan, the government Wednesday told parliament that although 17 Indians have been killed there so far, its commitment to rebuilding the war-torn country was not shaken.
The government also underlined that it has reviewed and enhanced security measures for over 3,500 Indians involved in different reconstruction projects in Afghanistan.
India has “no plan to scale down” its activities in Afghanistan, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna told the Lok Sabha.
He underlined that India’s commitment to assist the Afghan people and government in building a peaceful, pluralistic, democratic and prosperous nation remained undiluted despite 17 Indians being killed in Afghanistan in the last three years.
The minister informed parliament that nine Indians lost their lives in 2008 including seven in the terror attack on its embassy in Kabul, one in 2009 (a private firm employee) and seven in 2010 (in a terror attack on a hotel). No Indian was among those killed in Afghanistan in 2007, he said.
Replying to a question, Krishna stressed that the government had ensured financial and other assistance to families of Indian officials and Indians killed in Afghanistan while working on projects taken up by India there.
The assistance included ex-gratia compensation, insurance payments, liberalised pensionary benefits and other admissible benefits, he said.
Employees of private firms working in that country were provided compensation by their company, he said. Against the backdrop of persistent threat to Indians in Afghanistan, Krishna said the government had enhanced security measures for the safety of personnel and other Indians working in Afghanistan.
The government “is also in regular touch with the Afghan government, which has assured necessary security for Indians in that country,” he said. Indians registered with the embassy in Kabul were regularly advised about the prevailing security scenario in the country through advisories, he said.

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