Kabul: An Afghan intelligence spokesperson said on Thursday that Pakistan's spy agency, Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) was behind an attempt to kill the Indian consul general in Jalalabad.

'Two Afghan people from Kunar province who were hired by ISI to kill and assassinate the Indian consul general were arrested,' said Luftullah Mashal, spokesperson of National Directorate of Security.

The two Afghans claimed they were paid Rs.1.2 crore to target the senior Indian diplomat.

“They were given half and promised the rest after he was killed” said Mashal.

He added that the Peshawar head of the ISI was behind the attacks. “They have named a senior person who is a senior ISI official” said Mashal.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had termed the news as 'worrisome'. Asked about the arrests at a joint press conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Manmohan Singh said, “If it was true, then it would indeed be worrisome.”

The prime minister, who arrived to Afghanistan on a two-day visit, said the men were paid by a 'foreign intelligence service' to attack the consulate and given a vehicle, weapons and money.
 
“As I said in my introductory remarks, peace and security in the region requires all countries of the region to think afresh the futility of having recourse to terrorism as an instrument of state policy” the PM said.

Karzai said he has not discussed the matter with his intelligence chief and would take it up with the Security Council next week.

The two leaders discussed the security situation in the region following the killing of Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Pakistan's Abbottabad May 2.

There have been previous attacks on Indian embassies and installations which the Afghan security forces have blamed on Pakistani intelligence agencies.

(Agencies)