Indian author's killing by Taliban a loss for both India and Afghanistan: Salman Khurshid

New Delhi/Kolkata, Sep 6 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Friday said Indian writer Sushmita Banerjee's killing by the Taliban in Afghanistan is very distressing, and added that it is a loss for both nations.

"We are already in touch and contact (with the Afghan Government). We support the efforts being made in Afghanistan to consolidate democracy....... and we had hoped that the election will take Afghanistan forward in that direction," Khurshid told media outside the Parliament here.

Khurshid said incidents such as these whenever they happen obviously come as a deep shock and are very distressing.

"But this is not an issue on which Afghanistan and India can have two points of view. We have one single point of view, determination and our commitment to fight this kind of inhuman treatment, particularly of women. And I think we stand solidly with Afghanistan in their determination to oppose this, to confront it, to eliminate this kind of view," said Khurshid.

"The tragedy that has occurred today is a tragedy in which we stand by Afghanistan and we do believe that the loss is for Afghanistan and India combined. It is just not our loss alone. It's their loss as well," he added.

Members of the Rajya Sabha earlier in the day expressed their concern over the killing of Indian writer by the Taliban. Cutting across party lines, most of the members associated themselves with the condemnation.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev Shukla said that the government has condemned the killing of Indian writer, and added that the External Affairs Minister is also in touch with the Indian embassy in Kabul.

Meanwhile, Indian publisher Tridib Chatterjee was baffled by the fact that Banerjee was living in Kabul even after repeated threats.

"I was shocked when I heard that she was shot dead yesterday night possibly by Taliban. But I cannot understand why she went back to Afghanistan when she was targeted several times in the year 1995, in the year 1994 when she lived in Kabul with her entire family," said Chatterjee in Kolkata.

Banerjee was pulled out of her home and shot dead yesterday by Taliban in eastern Paktika province of Afghanistan.

Banerjee, married to an Afghan businessman, had authored the book 'Escape from Taliban' based on her experiences in Afghanistan and her escape from the Taliban captivity in the 1980s. Banerjee, also a social activist, had recently joined her husband at their home in Afghanistan. (ANI)

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