External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday assured Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh that her ministry was making all-out efforts to trace 39 Indians, mostly from Punjab, who had been held hostage in the Iraqi city of Mosul since 2014. Reacting to reports that the families of the hostages were trying to locate their kin after the liberation of Mosul from ISIS forces by Iraq, Amarinder on Monday called up Swaraj to seek her intervention.
The chief minister told her that the families of the hostages were keenly awaiting the return of their kin following ISIS’ defeat and needed the central government’s support in bringing them back. Swaraj assured Amarinder of all possible efforts by her ministry to bring back the Indians who were kidnapped by terror group ISIS from a construction site in Mosul. She said Minister of State for External Affairs General (retd) V K Singh had been sent to Iraq to coordinate with its government and facilitate the return of the Indians stuck there, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said.
The Union minister said she had also directed the Indian embassy to extend all help to the stranded people from the country. Air India officials at the airports had also been instructed to facilitate their return, said Swaraj, adding that her ministry had activated all available sources to trace the missing Indians.
Amarinder said the state government would take all steps to enable them to get back to their homes once they return to India.