02 August, 2021

Shock And Awe

The embassy was the public face of India's high profile in Afghanistan

Shock And Awe
The last security advisory from the Indian embassy in Kabul came on May 29, following an attack on an international military convoy. It was signed by defence attache Brigadier R.D. Mehta—it's the sort of mundane fact that gathers the force of irony in retrospect. The embassy routinely despatches such advisories after every major incident of violence, cautioning Indians on safety issues. What was not routine was the gap that followed the May 29 note. A diplomat based in Kabul for years told this correspondent, "It's been too quiet. It was about time for another incident."

That anticipated attack occurred on July 7, exploding with a ferocity that hadn't been seen even in Kabul earlier. A suicide bomber with explosives packed in his vehicle rammed into an Indian diplomatic car carrying none other than the defence attache, Brig Mehta, along with political counsellor Venkateswara Rao, just as they were to enter the embassy compound. The impact of the explosion was such that those in the vicinity either got incinerated or were thrown great...

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