MEA issues advisory to Indians in Afghanistan

MEA issues advisory to Indians in Afghanistan

By ABHINANDAN MISHRA | NEW DELHI | 25 June, 2016

In the wake of the recent kidnapping in Kabul of Judith D’Souza, an Indian official with an NGO, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has issued a fresh advisory to all Indians residing in Afghanistan to exercise extra caution as the “threat perception” against Indians has increased manifold in recent times. D’Souza was abducted last month and is still untraceable. An advisory for Indians had also been issued last month. So far, no group has claimed responsibility for D’Souza’s abduction. Ehsanullah Ehsan, spokesman of the Taliban faction Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, which has been known to carry out attacks against minorities in Pakistan and Afghanistan, told The Sunday Guardian that his group was not behind D’Souza’s kidnapping. “We don’t have her, nor do we know who has kidnapped her,” he said.  As per the fresh MEA advisory, Indians have been told that terrorist attacks against them are expected to rise in the coming days and there is also an increase in the risk of kidnapping and hostage taking throughout Afghanistan. The Indian government has its presence in Kabul, Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad and Kandahar. According to an Indian official working in Kabul, the advisory has asked Indians to review their personal security plans. “We have been asked to avoid non-essential movements, especially during peak commuting hours, and also avoid going to areas and establishments frequented by foreigners,” the official said. Kabul-based sources said that the local warlords and criminal gangs, who owe allegiance to no particular terror group, might have targeted D’Souza with the objective to extort ransom.

 

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