Chandigarh, June 21, 2014 (DHNS): All Punjabis stranded in strife-torn Iraq are safe, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has told Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.
The chief minister told the media in Lambi area of southwest Punjab Saturday that Sushma Swaraj spoke to him over telephone and said that all Punjabis stuck in Iraq are safe.
He said the Punjab government was constantly in touch with the union government to ensure the safe and prompt return of the people from Punjab stranded in Iraq.
Over 200 men, mostly youth, from Punjab are stuck in the oil-rich nation which is witnessing fighting since early June. Some of them have been taken hostage by insurgents while others are missing.
Over 40 Indians, mostly from Punjab, were kidnapped by insurgents June 11 in northern Iraq’s Mosul town. Most Indian workers in Iraq are construction or skilled workers.
Punjab’s NRI Affairs Minister Tota Singh said that till Friday evening, more than 200 families rang up the control room, giving details about their relatives stuck in Iraq.
Of the Indians in Iraq, the highest number 29 are from Jalandhar, 28 from Kapurthala, 23 from Amritsar and 22 from Gurdaspur district.