Pakistan condemns Kabul’s terrorist attacks

Hina Khar stresses sincere efforts to steer Pakistan on diplomatic front

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Islamabad: Pakistan on Tuesday strongly condemned the three terrorist attacks in Kabul that resulted in the loss of precious lives while injuring several innocent people.

“The government and the people of Pakistan extend deep sympathies to the families of those who have lost their lives and pray for the early recovery of the injured,” the Foreign Office said in a statement issued here.

The FO said Pakistan strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, adding that “We stand with our Afghan brothers in this moment of sorrow”.

“It is important that Afghanistan and the international community engage in close cooperation against the scourge of terrorism,” its said.

Pertinent to mention that, three explosions at a high school in western Kabul killed at least six people and injured a number of students, Afghan security and health officials said.

Many residents in the neighborhood belong to the Shia Hazara community, an ethnic and religious minority frequently targeted by Sunni militant groups, including Daesh.

“Three blasts have taken place…in a high school, there are some casualties to our Shia people,” said Khalid Zadran, the spokesman for Kabul’s commander.

He said later that six people had been killed and 11 injured in the explosions.

The head of a hospital nursing department, who declined to be named, said at least four people had been killed and 14 wounded in the blasts.

Another medical center, Emergency Hospital, said it had received one dead body and 10 teenagers injured in the explosions.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which followed a lull in violence over the cold winter months and after foreign forces withdrew last year.

Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers say they have secured the country since taking power in August but international officials and analysts say the risk of a resurgence in militancy remains and the Daesh militant group has claimed several attacks.

An official familiar with the matter who declined to be named said the explosive devices had been hidden in backpacks and one had detonated inside the school gates.

Humanitarian group Save the Children’s Afghanistan Country Director Chris Nyamandi condemned the blast.

“Save the Children is outraged and strongly condemns the reported attack on a high school today in Kabul. We’re deeply saddened about reports that children have been injured, and possibly killed, in the blasts,” he said in a statement.

Successive administrations have failed to curb deadly attacks on the Hazara minority in western Kabul including at mosques, a maternity ward and schools in recent years. Last May a huge blast outside a girls’ high school in the area killed at least 80 people, most of them female students.

Meanwhile, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar on Tuesday stressed the need for employing sincere efforts to address the challenges on the diplomatic front.

The new MoS, who assumed her responsibilities at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after taking the oath of office today, expressed these views while chairing a high-level meeting.

Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood briefed the MoS on the working of various divisions of the ministry.

The meeting was also attended by Special Secretaries including Dr Khalid Hussain Memon and Raza Bashir Tarar, and additional secretaries of the ministry.

Upon arrival at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to join her new responsibilities, Hina Khar was received by Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood and senior officials.

Belonging to Pakistan Peoples Party, Hina Rabbani Khar has previously served as Foreign Minister from February 2011 to March 2013 – the youngest person and the first woman to hold this office in the country.

Earlier, she has also served as the State Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs.

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