NEW DELHI: Cutting across political lines, leaders belonging to both the ruling and Opposition on Monday condemned the co-ordiated terror strike on Afghan Parliament building, that was successfully thwarted by Kabul’s security forces.
“The attack on Afghanistan Parliament is a despicable and cowardly act. There is no place for such attacks in a democracy,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted. Adding that his prayers were with the injured, Modi said, “We stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Afghanistan in this hour. President Pranab Mukherjee also wrote to the Afghan President expressing ‘deep concern’. “It was a relief that all Members of the Afghan Parliament, who had been present in the building, are safe,” he said.
Both the Home Minister and Finance Minister described the attack as ‘highly condemnable’.
“We express our solidarity with Afghan people in these difficult times,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh said.
Similarly, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the attack was meant to ‘destabilise peace and a popular government in the region’.
Earlier, Congress president Sonia Gandhi had also condemned the attack.
Meanwhile, all the seven gunmen involved in the attack were killed by Afghan special forces within an hour of the outrage. Afghan Taliban has already claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that it was done to coincide with the endorsement of the new Afghan Defence Minister by Parliament. The incident again went on to demonstrate the dominant antagonism in Afghanistan against their Southern neighbour. After killing six out of the seven attackers, Afghan soldier Essa Khan Laghmani asserted that he was proud to have killed ‘Pakistan slaves’. Laghmani, who became an instant hero with his face splashed on TV and social media, told reporters that precautionary measures were taken since there were intelligence inputs of a possible attack on Parliament.
While the attack on Parliament was brought under control without any major of loss of life, there was bad news from the country’s North where Taliban captured one district in Kunduz province on Wednesday -- the second one in two days.
According to reports, the reason for Taliban being able to make significant gains as part of its ‘Spring Offensive’ was poor local governance.
Continued attacks by Taliban comes against the backdrop of the outreach by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to Pakistan.