July 17, 2014

INDIA: India Sets Up Camps To Get Citizens Back From Iraq; About 600 Indians Out Of Iraq, More On Their Way. At Least India CARES About Their People Unlike Obama!

Hindustan Times
written by Staff
Saturday June 28, 2014

From keeping warships and planes on standby to deploying officials to check on expatriate Indians wanting to return home, the government stepped up efforts on Saturday to evacuate its citizens at a quick notice from violence-wracked Iraq.

INS Mysore, a 6,900-tonnes guided missile destroyer, reached the Persian Gulf on Saturday as part of New Delhi's plans to evacuate thousands of Indians living in Iraq where Sunni Arab militants are waging a bloody insurrection against Baghdad.

An Indian foreign office spokesman said the government had set up three camp offices in Najaf, Karbala and Basra – which have large concentration of Indians in Iraq – to facilitate the passage back for anyone wishing to return home to India.

Officers posted at these camps will go to the place of work of Indians and facilitate their departure if they want so, the spokesman said. Besides providing travel documents, the ministry will also provide free air tickets in case an Indian national there could not afford them.

Alongside, in a bid to reach out to the kidnapped 39 Indian workers in Iraq, Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj has summoned a meeting of the country’s top envoys posted in the Gulf countries, including Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia on Sunday.

The spokesman said the kidnapped Indian workers remain in "captivity" and "unharmed", adding the government was working on some leads available on them.

He said the mission in Iraq was also in touch with 46 Indian nurses in The city of Tikrit, and denied the reports that there was any explosion in the compound they were in.

Meanwhile, a navy source said there was no official word on a possible evacuation but INS Mysore had been put on standby.

"We have assets deployed in the western Arabian Sea and these could be used to bring back Indian nationals if required," he added.

INS Mysore was among the warships involved in evacuating Indian nationals from Libya more than three years ago.

The navy has been carrying out anti-piracy patrols in the international waters off the Gulf of Aden since October 23, 2008 to protect Indian sea-borne trade and instil confidence in the seafaring community. Currently, a Talwar-class frigate is deployed there and it could also be used for evacuation if there's an emergency.

The navy had evacuated more than 2,500 Indians and foreign nationals from Lebanon in July 2006 following the war between Israel and the Hezbollah.

The air force is also on standby to evacuate Indians from the strife-torn West Asian nation.

Hindustan Times
written by Staff
Wednesday July 2, 2014

Nearly 600 Indians have left conflict-hit Iraq after being facilitated by the External Affairs Ministry and about 900 more are to follow even as the Indian embassy in Baghdad was in touch with the 46 nurses stuck in Tikrit who are "safe and unharmed".

"By our estimation, the facilitation phase has now gathered pace. We have provided tickets to approximately 530 nationals. Their seats have been booked on commercial flights.

In addition, we are processing the documentation of another 850 persons," the Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry said in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Asked about the condition of the nurses who have taken refuge in the basement of their hospital after bombing and firing took place in the vicinity of the building, the Spokesperson said that the Indian Ambassador spoke to them and they remain "safe and unharmed".

About the other captives in the conflict zones, he said the understanding was that they are safe.

Giving details of issuance of travel documents to Indians, he said in terms of passports being processed in different locations in Iraq, the largest number are from Najaf.

"Currently, there are 350 passports that are being processed for Indian nationals from Najaf, 290 from Karbala, 190 from Basra and a little bit from Baghdad also. In Baghdad, there is no backlog because we have an embassy there and so all the work that is there is up to date," the Spokesperson said.

He said seats continue to be available on commercial flights so the ministry was making use of these to fly back Indian nationals to the nearest international airports.

Iraq is witnessing serious strife with Sunni militants, backed by al Qaida, capturing two key cities and marching towards Baghdad. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been displaced in the fighting that broke out on June 10.

When asked about reports that ISIS has declared holy war against India along with many other countries, the Spokesperson downplayed the reports saying India was in safe hands.

The Spokesperson also noted that there was a curfew in Karbala after a religious strife.

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