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Families of Indian workers in Iraq protest at Jantar Mantar

Atleast 3,000 Indians are still stranded in armed conflict hit Iraq and there is still no word on the plight of 39 workers abducted by the ISIS, who have now spent more than five weeks in custody. These families of stranded Indians (mainly from Punjab), are naturally worried for their safety and at least 40 such families have started a dharna at Jantar Mantar in the capital, demanding effective from the central government for their release. 

Aam Aadmi Party national convenor Arvind Kejriwal, along with the four Lok Sabha MPs of the party, met these families today (Tuesday) afternoon. The families narrated their woes to Kejriwal, in presence of MPs Bhagwant Mann, Dr Dharamvira Gandhi, Prof Sadhu Singh and Harinder Singh Khalsa. Later, in the evening, Mann accompanied these families to meet the senior officials in the external affairs ministry.

The AAP demands that the central government should be more pro-active in ensuring the safe return of Indian workers still stuck in Iraq. The absence of any information about the plight of 39 abducted countrymen is a matter of grave concern and the external affairs minister Ms Sushma Swaraj should make a statement in Parliament about the latest situation. The government has made some efforts to get back some Indian workers from Iraq safely back home, but these are highly inadequate. The sense of urgency and emergency response required appears to be missing on the government’s part so far.

The safe return requires a mix of deft diplomacy and use of good offices with friendly countries and the AAP appeals to the government to take all possible steps in this regard. This is not an issue of party politics and the AAP is ready to provide all the help to the government to ensure the safe return of Indian workers from the strife torn region. 

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