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Launch of U.S. military strikes in Afghanistan

October 08, 2001
New Delhi

The anticipated military strike against Al Qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan was, as you are aware, launched last night.  These operations are part of a broader campaign against the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks in the United States on 11th September and their supporters.  President Bush had telephoned Prime Minister Vajpayee on Sunday, well before the launch of the air strikes and informed him of essential details in this regard.

As expected, the targeting has been selective, minimizing the impact of the operation on the civil population.  We are glad that humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan is integral to the operations.

India has long had traditionally warm and friendly ties with the people of Afghanistan.  Above all, that country and its people deserve a democratic, peaceful, progressive and prosperous future.  This is not possible unless peace returns early and a government representative of all elements of the Afghan society replaces the Taliban.

Promotion of terrorism is what has brought Afghanistan to this pass.  That is why we welcome President Bush statement on 7th October reiterating that the current focus on Afghanistan is part of a broader battle against terrorism.  India’s position on the global character of terrorism and the need for a concerted global action against terrorism everywhere is known well enough.