Indian embassy in Afghanistan attacked: Was Pakistan involved?
Thursday's suicide bomb attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul raises questions about Pakistan's role in Afghanistan.
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A Taliban spokesman claimed credit for the attack and said the embassy was the intended target.
In July of 2008 militants rammed the same embassy with a car bomb that killed 60 people. Both US and Indian officials later claimed they had uncovered evidence that Pakistan's spy agency was in contact with the attackers.
That recent history and the long simmering Indian-Pakistan conflict over possession of Kashmir had some Indian security analysts pointing Pakistan's way on Thursday.
"I would suggest this is the same thing. Pakistan simply doesn't want any Indian presence in the region," says Ajai Sahni, director of the Institute of Conflict Management in New Delhi. Asked how that could impact India-Pakistan relations, Dr. Sahni replied, "What relations? This is just a cyclical game. A new attack doesn't change anything."
Others have more doubts. "Given the divide between Taliban and Pakistan in recent years, particularly since Pakistan troops are fighting Taliban forces in Pakistan, I would rather see it as the Taliban's own initiative," says Suba Chandran, assistant director of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies in New Delhi.
But he agrees with Sahni that if Pakistani elements were involved it would barely register diplomatically, since the relationship cannot get much worse.
Does Washington care?
While it's common to hear sighs of resignation from the Indian establishment about Pakistan, the reaction could run hotter in Washington. After last year's attack on the Indian embassy, US officials leaked intelligence intercepts that pointed Pakistan's way, a move that marked a nadir in relations between the two countries.