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Sunday, October 11, 2009

CBDT has issued amendments in Income Tax Act 1962 (the Act)

 No.402/92/2006-MC (21 of 2009)
Government of India / Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Direct Taxes
*****
New Delhi dated 30th
September, 2009

PRESS RELEASE



The Income Tax Act 1961 (the Act) has been amended with effect from 1st October 2009 to provide that any gift-in-kind, being an immovable property or any other property, the value of which exceeds Rs.50,000 (rupees fifty thousand), will become taxable in the hands of the donee, being an individual or a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), as income from other sources under clause (vii) of sub-section 2 of section 56 of the Act. Therefore, any such person who receives a gift of any such property on or after 1st October 2009 must pay the income tax due on the value of the gift and disclose the taxable value of such property in the return of income for assessment year 2010-11 and subsequent years. 

The following types of gifts will, however, not be subject to tax, i.e. gifts (a) from a person who is a relative; (b) on the occasion of marriage of the individual; (c) under a will or by way of inheritance; (d) in contemplation of death of the donor; (e) from any local authority as defined in the Explanation to section 10(20) of the Act; (f) from any fund or trust established under section 10(23C) of the Act; (g) from any trust or institution registered under section 12AA of the Act. 

Relative is defined in the Act as (i) spouse; (ii) brother or sister; (iii) brother or sister of the spouse; (iv) brother or sister of either of the parents; (v) any lineal ascendant or descendant; (vi) spouse of any of the relative at clauses (ii) to (v); of the individual. Gifts received from these relatives will not be subject to tax. 

Earlier cash gifts exceeding Rs.25,000 were subject to tax with effect from 1st April 2004. Later the Act was amended with effect from 1st April 2006 to tax all cash gifts having aggregate value exceeding Rs.50,000. Cash gifts also enjoy exemptions as is available for gifts-in-kind. 


6TH CPC : ENGG COLLEGE TEACHERS

THE GOVT ORDER LINK IS PLACED BELOW FOR INFO PLZ :

http://www.education.nic.in/TechnicalEdu/Rpay-engg-teachers-071009.pdf

IMPORTANT CDA NEWS

1. FOR RETIRED OFFICERS

Payment of 60% Arrears of SPC is in progress.

2. Statement of Account for Oct. 2009 

Will be uploaded after 25th of Oct as the staff of CDA office has been deployed on Maharashtra Assembly Election.

FROM PAK WITH LOVE : GHQ Attack - India Strikes Again

By Zaheerul Hassan 

At about 1130 hours on October 10, 2009, a white color Suzuki Car tried to target General Headquarters of Pakistan Army located on Mall Road Rawalpindi. According to the witness the shooting began when a carry vehicle was intercepted by army personnel for routine checking at army check post near GHQ. Four miscreants wearing camouflage uniform opened heavy and indiscriminate fire while sitting in the vehicle.  According to Major General Athar Abbas brave soldiers of Pakistan Security Forces killed the terrorist and brought the situation within one hour after sacrificing their lives. The current attack is a series of Indian proxy war against Pakistan and its security Agencies.  

The proxy war started when Pakistan security forces achieved splendid victory against Swat militancy and were going to start Operation against Indian sponsored Taliban of Waziristan. It is notable here that it is third attack in two weeks or so. The current wave of sabotage activities are directly linked and sponsored by notorious South Asian agency RAW. There is a chance that RAAM is facilitating its master agency RAW. Earlier, on October 5, 2009, RAW trained terrorist blasted himself outside the UN’s World Food Programme offices in Islamabad and then again on 9 October, 2009 at least 50 people were killed and many injured in a suspected bomb blast near a market in the north-western Pakistani city of Peshawar. President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilliani and Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani strongly condemned the blast and said Pakistan could not be deterred in its effort to fight extremism and terrorism and would continue its quest to bring peace by eliminating the terrorists.  

By design, there is a strong perception that attack on Kabul Embassy was launched by Indian intelligence agency to malign Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) agency of Pakistan. The revealed opinion proved correct after listening Afghan Ambassador T Jawad comments to USA’s statement given to the PBS news channel on October 8, 2009. In that interview he mentioned that they are pointing the finger at the Pakistan intelligence agency, based on the evidence on the ground and similar attack taking place in Afghanistan. In fact it is a proven fact that Afghanistan and its intelligence agency with the tacit support of RAW is promoting terrorism in FATA, Balochistan and interior Pakistan too. It is mentionable here that Pakistan is facing horrible foreign sponsored militancy. As a result of war against terror more than a thousand of brave Pakistani soldiers and civilians have become victim of militancy. More than 2.8 millions Individuals were internally disabled. According to the sources, the Indian Air Force has stationed its MiG 29 aircrafts at Adampur near the Pakistani border to strengthen its air defence capabilities and minimise reaction time.  The deployment of MIG-29 and troops revealed that India may intensify the sabotage activities in the interior Pakistan in the near future and likely to go for Air strikes in already marked areas around GT Road. It is mentionable that BBC, on October 27, displayed a documentary movie regarding the eighth anniversary of the US-led NATO invasion of Afghanistan. It stated that now this war is being fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, and “it will soon spread in Pakistan.” 

New Delhi started this proxy war once Pakistan is on limelight as result of debate on Kerry-Luger Bill. Earlier India also rocked her Embassy at Kabul at the occasion of G-8 conference in July 2008. The nation (including Pak Army) seems united against the objectionable clauses related to Pakistan security. According to the sources John Kerry and Richard Lugar are visiting Islamabad shortly to discuss and remove the bugs and concerns of Pakistan over the bill. Hence, there are likely chances that Obama’s administration will re-evaluate and make it acceptable to Pakistani nation and security forces after removing the objectionable clauses. New Delhi never ever digested any success of Pakistani Intelligence agencies and security forces against foreign sponsored militancy and made another try to prove Pakistan as heaven for terrorists.  If we visualise and read the South Asian security situation then we can say that basically India has proved herself South Asian Don and is continuously busy in storming terrorism in the region. The recent blasts point out to the Indian intelligence agency collaboration with RAAM and Mossad who collectively have seemed to plan the series of blasts in Afghanistan and Pakistan with a view to use pressure tactics and built opinion to force Washington to refrain from providing economic aid to Islamabad. 

Concluding, I must say that World community should ask India to stop backing Hindu Taliban who are playing with the lives of Innocent people. She must know that Pakistan Security Forces are alert enough to meet any kind of potent threat. We salute our forces and those soldiers who scarified their lives for the nation and their Gazi comrades.

Author can be reached at: zameer36@gmail.com

Jai Veer Singh takes command of 24 Equipment Depot AFS

ALLAHABAD: Air Commodore, Jai Vir Singh, has taken over the command of 24 Equipment Depot Air Force Station, Manauri on Friday. The Air Officer was commissioned in the Logistics Branch of Indian Air Force on Jun 15, 1979. He has held various Logistics field and staff appoints. He was a directing staff at College of Defence Management, Hyderabad, before taking over the command of this depot. 

On the occasion of the 77th Anniversary of the Indian Air Force, Singh conveyed his heartiest greetings to all the personnel and their families of 24 ED. He said his Depot, over many years, has grown in stature and is one of the best depot of Maintenance Command. It has been possible only by the sustained efforts of the depot personnel for qualitative improvement. 

The qualitative improvement is visible in all dimensions. It has become possible due to dedication, determination and ability of our personnel to take up the challenges. 

Today it's migrating to high-tech operation keeping pace with advent of new technology. This warrants quality supports to all operational units in that environment. 

The endeavour of our personnel should be to ensure prompt response to all customers. This is possible only by managing inventory in the desired manner. While we excel professionally, we must also lay equal emphasis in improving quality of life. Your involvement in all around improvement in Depot environment will ensure quality time during your tenure at this Depot. 

Meanwhile, Shashi Singh, wife of Jai Veer Singh has also taken over as President Air Force Wives Welfare Association (Local) of 24 Equipment Depot, Air Force Station, Manauri from Oct 1,2009.

Big hunt for 700 Maoists on the loose

With Maharashtra Assembly polls just three days away, security personnel on Saturday (October 10) continued to comb the dense forests in Gadchiroli district in the hunt for reportedly 700 Maoists hiding. The troops are applying new strategies to counter the Naxals in the district, by stationing new troops at Lahiri. 

TIMES NOW accessed exclusive footage of the troops heading towards the Naxal dominated areas in the state. The troops make use of the Indian Air Force (IAF) MI 17 choppers from Gadchiroli police grounds. The government on Friday (October 9) had pressed two IAF choppers into service in the Naxal infected area. 

Following the go ahead given by the government for an all out offensive against the Maoists, after the ultimatum issued by the Home Minister P Chidambaram, 7,000 troops have been pressed into service in Maoists infested areas. 

Eighteen companies of CRPF have been deployed in Gadchiroli to man the district, as confirmed by the district collector. These stringent measures are being taken in the wake of the recent ambush by the Naxals two days ago, where the they gunned down 20 cops and beheaded one villager. 

Meanwhile, Defence Minister AK Anthony said, “IAF to be given permission to open fire in self-defence during anti-Naxal operations after carefully preparing procedures and safeguards. Armed Forces will not be used in anti-Naxal operations in a combat role.” 

Earlier, Home Minister Jayant Patil meanwhile said there will be "no rescheduling " of polls in the Naxal affected areas in the state. "Naxals may strike politicians flying over the region. It's better that they avoid flying over these areas as Maoists may go to any extent to disrupt (coming assembly) elections," N S Jagtap, spokesperson of Gadchiroli police, had said. 

Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said the government will not be cowed down by the Naxal violence and warned the Maoists to give up violence or face an all-out offensive. The security forces also scoured the possible hideouts of the marauding Naxals on the state's border with Chattisgarh where the Maoists are suspected to have fled.

Indian Army chief to visit Myanmar Sunday

New Delhi, Oct 10 (IANS) Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor will Sunday begin a three-day visit to Myanmar to nurture direct military-to-military ties with the neighbour on the eastern flank.

“The Army chief will be on a three-day visit to Myanmar. We have always had close ties with our counterparts in Myanmar. There have been cooperation in counter-insurgency training and all,” a senior Indian Army official said, requesting anonymity. 

Myanmar, second largest of India’s neighbours on the east, is important for the realisation of the country’s Look East policy since China has always tried to bring Myanmar within its own strategic embrace. 

Kapoor’s visit comes at a time when China has announced construction of a rail link up to the Myanmar border. The move has raised concerns in the Indian armed forces as it would give China a route for transporting reinforcements in case of confrontation with India. 

Earlier also there have been high level visits between chiefs of the armed forces of the two countries. 

The then Indian Army chief’s visit in November 2005 was followed by the visit of then Indian Navy chief Admiral Arun Prakash in January 2006. 

In February 2005, Myanmar Navy chief Vice Admiral Soe Thein visited India. Two Indian warships visited Yangon to participate in some basic exercises with the Myanmar Navy Dec 22-26, 2005. 

A corvette of the Myanmar Navy participated in the multi-nation exercise Milan-06 off the Andaman coast Jan 9-14, 2006. 

India has also shown keenness to supply naval hardware to Myanmar. During former navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta’s visit to Yangon in 2007, India agreed to supply three Islander aircraft to Myanmar. 

Myanmar has geo-strategic importance to India as it provides China an access to the Bay of Bengal in the Indian Ocean Region and to Strait of Malacca from where most of its energy supplies are routed. Still, military cooperation between India and Myanmar pales in comparison to its ties with China. 

China is providing major assistance in the modernization of naval facilities at Akyab (Sittwe), Mergui, Hanggyi Islands and Great Coco Islands. 

Myanmar is presently ruled by a military junta and faces US sanctions because of alleged human rights violation and suppression of pro-democracy activists.

Territorial Army, 60, to woo youngsters

New Delhi, Oct 9 (IANS) The Territorial Army, a reserve force of trained civilians to aid the Indian Army, completed 60 years of existence Friday and aims to woo more youngsters and working professionals to join its ranks.
“On the 60th anniversary, we are working towards tapping young talent from the corporate, engineering, IT and other fields,” said a senior officer of the Territorial Army.

The Territorial Army is a volunteer force of people eager to do their bit for the country’s defence. It acts as a reserve for the regular army in times of need and draws men and women from the age group of 18-42.
The Territorial Army has proposed to make its training schedule more flexible to accommodate the requirements of the working professionals.
“There is a proposal to shorten the training period because if you are taking in an expert then you do not have to give him that much training,” said the officer.
Currently, on joining the Territorial Army, officers have to undergo mandatory training of four months followed by two months of training every year. This is now proposed to be cut down to one month and 14 days, respectively.
The Territorial Army has also proposed to raise an all-women’s unit in the insurgency-hit northeast region.
“There is a proposal for raising an all women’s battalion for the northeast,” said the officer.
Presently, women can only join as doctors and nurses in the Territorial Army, which has a strength of 40,000.
In recent times, former India cricket team captain Kapil Dev and Malayalam film super star Mohanlal have joined the Territorial Army.


Pakistani commandoes storm army base, free hostages (Second lead)

RAWALPINDI - Pakistani commandoes stormed a building Sunday morning in an army compound here, freeing more than two dozen hostages held by militants, an Army spokesman said.

Explosions and gunfire were heard from inside the premises when the troops moved into the building shortly before dawn. Ambulances were later seen rushing to the nearest hospital.
“The operation is reaching to its logical conclusion,” said Army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas. “Around 25 of the hostages have been freed and four terrorists killed.”
He said there were some casualties among the hostages but did not provide details. He said that “the situation will be clear hopefully” within 30 minutes.
Militants took more than two dozen soldiers and civilian employees on the Army base captive inside a security office near the compound, in a daring midday Saturday raid that left six soldiers, a passer-by and four attackers dead.


Army officer missing on way to Kolkata TNN 11 October 2009, 06:48am IST

KOLKATA: A junior commissioned officer (JCO) of the Indian Army has gone missing while on his way to Kolkata from Delhi by train. His family members in Kolkata have been running from pillar to post for the last 10 days, but have not succeeded in getting a missing diary registered at any police station. Intervention by officers of the missing JCO's unit has not helped, either. 

Naib Subedar Rohtash Singh (45) was posted at the 5TTR Signals Regiment in Goa. He left his family wife Savitri Devi and two sons in Kolkata, where he was posted till 2007. His daughter studies near Delhi. According to his commanding officer in Goa, Major R S Kanwar, Singh proceeded on a month's casual leave on September 19. 

In Greater Noida, he met his daughter. After spending some time with relatives in Uttar Pradesh, he decided to travel to Kolkata and spend the rest of his vacation with his family. 

On September 28, his nephew Amarjit saw him off on a local train bound for Delhi. At 7.16 am, he called up his wife in Kolkata and told her that he had boarded Kalka Mail. He was calling from the mobile of one P C Verma, a co-passenger. 

"His visit was to be a surprise. My mother informed me that he would be arriving at Howrah only on September 29. I went to the station but my father was not on the train. I went to the MCO at the station and was asked to wait for Poorva Express," said Singh's elder son Rampratap. 

Singh did not arrive by Poorva Express. Rampratap attended Kalka Mail on September 30 before paying a visit to the GRP station. Officials there refused to register a diary. The GRP in Delhi also refused to register a diary by Amarjit. On contacting Verma, the family came to know that Singh was on the train till Aligarh, where the former got off. A futile attempt was also made to lodge a complaint at Aligarh. 

On October 2, when Ramprasad was pasting pamphlets on the Kalka Mail with details about his father, a security personnel informed him that he had seen Singh in Dhanbad. Ramprasad rushed to Dhanbad where people around the station confirmed that they, too, had seen Singh. Police, however, refused to pay any heed to such unconfirmed sightings'. The family, through its own channels, managed to trace Singh's mobile which was switched off to Dhanbad on October 4. On October 5, the signal was traced to Asansol. 

"There was no reason for my father to get off at Dhanbad. His unit in Goa also sent a letter to the MCO in Howrah, confirming his disappearance. In spite of this, the GRP refused to take down a diary and start an investigation. I also went to the CID but they too did not register a complaint," Ramprasad said.

Indian army says stepped up Kashmir border vigil

SRINAGAR (Reuters) - The Indian army said on Saturday it had stepped up its vigil along a military control line in Kashmir as Pakistan-based militant groups increase efforts to push into the region before snow blocks the mountain passes.
"The army has stepped up its vigil all along the Line of Control (LoC) in anticipation of renewed attempts at infiltration before snowfall expected in the next fortnight," a Defence Ministry statement said.
The infiltration comes despite a ceasefire between the two armies and a three-metre-high barbed wire fence along much of the 742-km (460-mile) LoC.
On Saturday, Indian troops shot dead three militants when they tried to cross into Indian Kashmir, the statement added, the fourth such incursion attempt in the past week.
Kashmir, which India and Pakistan claim in full but rule in part, remains at the core of a six-decade-long conflict between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.
After months of relative calm, there has been a rise in separatist violence across Kashmir, where officials say tens of thousands have been killed since a revolt against Indian rule broke out in 1989.
Pakistan has consistently denied its involvement in abetting the anti-Indian insurgency in Kashmir.


(Reporting by Sheikh Mushtaq; Editing by Rina Chandran


India, Russia to ink new military pact

NEW DELHI: The US might be the new kid on the block, with Israel and France already well-entrenched, but India is keen to keep its long-standing military ties with Russia on the right track despite glitches, time and cost-overruns in defence deals. 

India and Russia will extend their `strategic and military partnership' by another 10 years when PM Manmohan Singh holds a summit meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow this December.

The groundwork for inking of the fresh inter-governmental agreement on military-technical cooperation, to extend the partnership right till 2020, will be laid when defence minister A K Antony visits Moscow next week for talks with his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov.

Russia will remain India's largest defence supplier for some time to come, with ongoing arms contracts and projects in the pipeline worth well over a whopping $15 billion.

The relationship will only head further north since India has shown interest in acquiring more Russian military hardware and software. This, for instance, includes 50 more Sukhoi-30MKIs to add to 230 of these `air dominance' fighters already contracted for over $8.5 billion, as also an additional 29 MiG-29Ks for $1.12 billion after the first 16 of these maritime jets were bought for aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov.

Then, of course, there are three crucial joint R&D projects. One, the Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA), whose overall development costs are pegged by Russia to be around $8-10 billion.

"During the October 14-15 meeting, Antony will emphasis India's interest in ensuring FGFA's development is completed by 2016 and IAF can begin inducting it by 2017,'' said an official.

Two, the $600 million multi-role transport aircraft (MTA) project, under which India will induct an initial 45 planes, while Russia will get 100 and another 60 will be sold to other countries. "An MTA joint venture company between Hindustan Aeronautics and Ilyushin will be established soon,'' he said.

And three, development of 290-km-range `hypersonic' BrahMos-2 cruise missiles (5 to 7 Mach speed) after the successful development of its `supersonic' (2.8 Mach) version. Incidentally, work is also in progress now to integrate BrahMos-1 missiles on Sukhoi-30MKIs.

All, of course, is not hunky dory in the expansive Indo-Russian military relationship. With the Soviet-era `friendship prices' having vanished into oblivion, Russia now demands -- and often gets -- top dollar from India.

Fierce wrangling over the huge escalation in Gorshkov's refit cost has been there for all to see. India is now likely to pay a staggering $2.6 billion to get the 44,570-tonne carrier by 2012-2013.

Under the original $1.5 billion package deal signed in January 2004, India was to get Gorshkov by August 2008 for $974 million, with the rest earmarked for 16 MiG-29Ks.

India remains worried about Russia not sticking to delivery schedules, creating roadblocks in technology transfer, jacking up costs midway through execution of agreements and failing to provide proper product support.

India, of course, realises only Russia will be ready to supply it with some `sensitive' stuff. Sometime early next year, for instance, India will get the K-152 Nerpa Akula-II nuclear-powered submarine from Russia on a 10-year lease as part of a secretive 2004 deal.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-Russia-to-ink-new-military-pact/articleshow/5107056.cms

IAF gets the green signal to fire back at Naxals

New Delhi: Indian Air Force (IAF) now has the licence to open fire at Naxals but Union Government has added that the permission is limited to returning fire only in self-defence.

The decision to let the IAF fire back on Naxals marks the beginning of the direct use of military force against Left-wing extremists. So far, the role was limited to just providing logistical support to the police force.

Now many massacres later the Union Government has finally given the green signal for the use of lethal military force against the Naxals

"After carefully preparing safeguards and operational details for self defence we will give them (IAF) operational clearance only for self defence," said Defence Minister AK Antony in New Delhi on Saturday

Despite its writ being severely challenged by Naxal attacks across the country, the United Progressive Alliance Government is still very reluctant to go all-out against Left-wing terror."There is no question of Air Force engagement in offensive operation in Naxalite situation," added Antony.

IAF helicopters operating in Naxal-hit areas will now be protected by Special Forces commandos on board

"In the helicopters we will be mounting guns. They will be manned by Garud Force which is our expert force and they are the people who will be undertaking this," IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal PV Naik had said on October 8 at the Hindon Air Force Base during the 77th anniversary celebrations of the IAF.

So the Mi-17 IV chopper will increasingly be used by the IAF to assist police and paramilitaries in operations against Naxals.

The decision also marks the entry of elite Special Forces in the state's combat against Naxalism.


Manmohan rules out deploying army to counter Maoists

"It shows the measure of challenge we face. We will never succumb," Singh told reporters in Raichur, about 400 km from here, after he made an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas in parts of north Karnataka.
"We are not talking of using armed forces. Police and paramilitary forces will be mobilized," the prime minister said.
Maoists had killed 17 policemen in Gadchiroli in Maharashtra Thursday in the latest attack by them on police and police stations.
Director General of the Central Reserve Police Force, A.S. Gill, had recently said that four new commando battalions will be added to the paramilitary forces especially to fight left wing extremism, giving rise to speculation that Home Ministry is preparing ground for a full blown war against Naxals.
Director General of the Central Reserve Police Force, A.S. Gill, said that four new commando battalions will be added to the paramilitary forces especially to fight left wing extremism.
"We are raising another three battalions this year, there is going to be one female battalion, the 'Mahila battalion' as we call it and two other battalions are going to be raised this year, in addition to that we are in the process of raising four commando battalions....this will be basically for the LWE region, the Left Wing Extremist areas,' Gill told reporters.
Gill said that the steps would be generating confidence amongst the tribals in Maoist infected areas and help them get over the fear that has been instilled in them, so that they can cooperate with the forces.
Gill also said that the CRPF was keeping up with the latest technological advancements to maintain its efficiency and keep up its fight against terrorism and Maoists.
RAF is a specialised wing of the Indian CRPF, the world's largest paramilitary force that has 203 battalions and is the main striking force against the insurgents in the northeast, Jammu and Kashmir and Maoists affected areas.


3 battalions in naxal-hit Gadchiroli

MUMBAI: The Centre, on Saturday, airlifted 18 companies (three battalions) of paramilitary forces from Jammu and Jalandhar to the naxal-hit Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra to assist in the peace-keeping operations on October 13, the day the state goes to vote.

Besides the local police, there are 35 companies of paramilitary forces in Gadchiroli. The recent Naxal encounter that saw the death of 17 policemen is the third big massacre in the district. And top police officials said the morale of the local police had gone down.

Chief Secretary Johny Joseph said the state government made an appeal to the Union home secretary and the defence secretary, following which they agreed to airlift the troops. He added that the men from the Central Reserve Police Force were airlifted from their bases at Jammu and Jalandhar by IAF planes and were taken to Nagpur. Two battalions arrived at Nagpur on Saturday evening; the third one is expected to land later in the night.

State chief electoral officer Debashish Chakrabarty, who has been updating Election Commission on all developments in the area, was also of the opinon that district needed more police force to ensure free, fair and above all safe elections.

Pak's great game: Evict India from Afghanistan through terror

WASHINGTON: Afghanistan has boldly stepped up where even India has been discreet in treading, bluntly accusing the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI of masterminding the latest bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul which killed 17 people. 

"Yes, we do," Afghan Ambassador to the US Said Jawad told the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in an interview here when asked if he was pointing the figure at Pakistan for the suicide bombing that took place on Thursday. 

"We are pointing the finger at the Pakistan intelligence agency, based on the evidence on the ground and similar attack taking place in Afghanistan," Jawad said. He did not elaborate on the evidence. 

Jawad was following up similar charges from Afghan officials in Kabul, who were quick to identify Pakistani intelligence as the mastermind even though India’s foreign secretary Nirupama Rao was initially circumspect in suggesting that New Delhi would let the investigations take its course before reaching any conclusion. 

The previous attack referred to by Jawad and other Afghan officials was the bombing of the Indian Embassy in July 2008, which US officials disclosed was conducted by the ISI-backed Haqqani network. That network was heard being described by Pakistan’s army chief Pervez Ashfaq Kiyani as Islamabad’s “strategic asset” in intelligence intercepts, result in the suspicion in Washington and New Delhi that Pakistani’s military-intelligence apparatus masterminded the attack on the embassy. That attack killed 58 people, including a popular young Indian diplomat and a senior military attaché. 

On Saturday though, India’s Nirupama Rao also stepped up to the plate, saying Thursday’s embassy attack was the handiwork of the enemies of India-Afghan friendship and their "patrons across the border," but not directly naming Pakistan. 

"The attack was clearly the handiwork of those who are desperate to undermine Indo-Afghan friendship and do not believe in a strong, democratic and pluralistic Afghanistan," Rao, who has rushed to Kabul for assessment, said, while reiterating India’s “unwavering commitment” to Afghanistan. 

Pakistan has been pressing unsubtly with Washington that it resents Indian presence in Afghanistan, where New Delhi has invested more than $ 1.5 billion to build hospitals, school and other civil infrastructure, while expanding its soft power influence. 

Pakistan, in contrast, is now widely reviled in Afghanistan and is regarded as the source of all its troubles, beginning with the training and infiltration of the Taliban in the early 1990s to take over Kabul after the eviction of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War. 

Getting Islamabad to unhitch its obsession with Afghanistan with the idea of using it as “strategic depth” against India, whose ties with Kabul pre-date Pakistan’s 1947 creation, is part of the Obama administration’s long-term solution for the region. 

But Pakistan has been insisting on its right to challenge Indian presence in Afghanistan because of the perceived threat it poses. Earlier this week, the Pakistani military high command issued a thinly-disguised rebuff to US efforts, saying "Pakistan is a sovereign state and has all the rights to analyse and respond to the threat in accordance with her own national interests.” The embassy bombing took place around the same time.