94 Indians leave Iraq, nearly 600 to return this week
NEW DELHI: As many
as 94 Indians on Monday left Iraq after a “pro-active approach” initated by the
Indian officials there that would see nearly 600 nationals leaving the war-hit
country to safety this week.
Indian officials in
Iraq are reaching out to compatriots themselves, and are busy facilitating the
paperwork and ticketing, for those needed, to enable them to fly back home, an
official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs told reporters here.
of Indian nationals in Iraq in areas which are not in conflict zones is now
underway,” the spokesperson said, adding that special mobile teams are reaching
out to residences of Indians in Najaf, Karbala, Basra and Baghdad advising them
to leave the country.
teams) were authorised by the External Affairs Minister to contact Indian
nationals in their places of residence to advice them that in accordance with
two advisories we have sent, it is best that they leave places of work and
return to India,” he said.
“The departure of
more than 600 Indian nationals will be facilitated during the course of this
week,” he said, adding that officials are working on paperwork, ticketing and
employers for those who might have problems. The official also said that 60
Indians from Najaf, 30 from Karbala and four from Baghdad have left the
strife-torn country today and others will soon follow.
Asked about the 39
kidnapped Indians there, he reiterated that they were knocking on all doors. Giving
the details, he said that the return of 60 Indians from Najaf today was
facilitated by the Indian officials there and the paperwork of another 31 is
being processed. They are expected to leave tomorrow and another 30 the day
departure of 30 Indian workers have taken place today. Paperwork of another 100
plus workers is in the pipeline and will be undertaken in the next 2-3 days. We
hope to complete paperwork of another 100. So, as far as Karbala is concerned,
during the course of 5-6 days, about 230 would be facilitated,” the official
Basra, the most distant from Baghdad, the official said six Indians who were in
judicial custody will be released based on the documentation done by the mobile
team. “They will be leaving back shortly. In nearby Nasria, we are working on
ensuring the paperwork of departure of another 50 Indian nationals,” he said.
pointed out that 12 Indian nationals in Baghdad were issued tickets of which
four flew out today itself while others were waiting for next available
commercial flights. He underlined that as per a “pro-active approach” diplomats
were reaching out to Indians themselves.
The official also
said that if required, national assets would be used to assist the return of
Indians. “At this stage, we are working through available means, and if those
means are not adequate, if we require other national assets, we will not
hesitate to use them,” the official said.