The bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul is a vicious warning not only of the growing strength of the insurgency but also of the undeclared struggle for influence over their northern neighbour by both India and Pakistan, a leading British daily said on Tuesday.
Describing the bombing as the deadliest attack in the Afghan capital since the US forces toppled the Taliban government, an article in The Times said the "proxy war" to retain control over Kabul has contributed to instability in the region.
The article said Taliban have strong motives for targeting India.
"Many have lived in exile in Pakistan, where they absorbed not only the visceral hostility to India but also the fanaticism of those who see the ousting of India from Kashmir as a cause for Islamic Jihad.
"Pakistan was the main backer of the Taliban from their takeover in Afghanistan in 1986 until they were defeated by the allied coalition in 2001, when Islamabad officially dropped its support as a result of intense US pressure.
"Taliban insurgents are deeply suspicious of Indian support for President Karzai, who spent time in exile in India. India's close involvement in reconstruction is seen as underpinning the Western-backed Government."
It said "India, after its efforts to salvage the US-India nuclear agreement, is seen by Islamists as a partner of the West, both politically and strategically."