Pakistani military officers were involved in the attack on the Indian Consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif in which assailants attempted to storm the mission building, a senior Afghan police official said today. This attack in Afghanistan ties in with the dateline of the attack by 6 Pakistani terrorists on an airbase in India's Pathankot in the early hours of 1 January. Seven Indian soldiers were killed in Pathankot, India has handed over "evidence" of Pakistani terror group JeM's involvement.
Given what India knows about the Pathankot attacks and new information on the Kabul attacks, the scheduled foreign secretary level talks may be postponed by a few days or a few weeks, sources told The Indian Express. Intelligence sources say Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar has been identified as the mastermind of the attack, with key roles played by Abdul Rauf Asghar, Maulana Ashfaq Ahmad, Hafiz Abdul Shakoor and Kasim Jan.
News of Pakistan Amry involvement in the Afghan attack comes on the same day India's Home Minister Rajnath Singh said there is no reason to distrust Pakistan's assurance of "effective action" against the Pathankot attackers.
"We saw with our own eyes and I can say 99 percent that those attackers were from Pakistani military and used special tactics while conducting their operation," Sayed Kamal Sadat, police chief of the Balkh province, said of last week's attack in Mazar-e-Sharif.
The Indian Express reports that four terrorists who attacked India’s consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif Sunday left behind graffiti written in their own blood stating that their mission was intended to avenge Afzal Guru, the J&K resident hanged in 2013 for his role in the December 13, 2000 attack on Parliament House in New Delhi, Afghan police sources said. Police special forces killed the attackers after a 25-hour siege.
Sadat said the attackers -- officers from across the border -- were well-trained military men who fought Afghan security forces in the 25-hour siege.
"The attackers were military personnel. They were educated and well prepared and had intelligence. They fought us and only by Allah's grace were we able to control them and eliminate them," Sadat was quoted as saying by Tolo News.
The police official said efforts were underway to track down, identify and detain those who assisted the attackers to gain access to the building that was opposite the Indian Consulate.
"We are jointly working with the NDS director and have spoken about this –- especially as they came here not able to speak in Dari or Pashtu but speaking in Urdu. It means obviously there is someone who guided those attackers and helped the attackers," Sadat said.
An intense gun-battle between security forces and the attackers took place outside the Indian Consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif after assailants attempted to storm the mission building on 3 January.
The standoff ended on the night of 4 January after the attackers who entered the building opposite the Indian Consulate were killed. One police solider also lost his life and nine others including three civilians were wounded in the incident.
As the Consulate came under attack, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) guards deployed on the sentry post foiled their attempt by raining heavy fire on them.
A strong contingent of over four-dozen ITBP commandos has been securing this facility from 2008 apart from three other missions in the country and the main Embassy in the capital, Kabul.
The security of these sensitive facilities was recently heightened after the ITBP deployed over 35 commandos at Indian missions in Kabul, Jalalabad, Herat, Kandhar and Mazar-e-Sharif.
With inputs from PTI