iconimg Saturday, August 29, 2015

Jayanth Jacob
New Delhi, July 18, 2014
Helping the Indians stranded in Iraq, especially the 39 in custody of the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant (ISIS) in Mosul, is one of the factors that has prompted the government’s cautious approach on the Israel-Palestine flare up in Parliament. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the BRICS summit expressed concern at the outbreak of violence. He articulated India’s concern and called for a “negotiated solution”.

The government has some concerns about allowing a debate in Parliament “at this juncture,” when “all efforts are being galvanized on the safety of Indians in Iraq” for which “all available” sources are being tapped.

Government sources told HT that the government did not want to appear to be taking sides at this point in time, given that it was trying to use all available resources including the Israelis – who have a good network in most parts of Iraq – to ensure no harm comes to the Indians in Iraq.

“The government is engaged with a host of countries in the region, who support as well as oppose the stand-off,” pointed out a source.

It is already proving to be a tough ask for the government to get the 39 Indians, who have been in captivity for more than a month now. India is also in contact with Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

New Delhi’s stand comes in the backdrop of security updates from the Middle East that there are fissures within the ISIS, particularly from affiliates of the Sunni tribes - the Ba’athists and Naqshbandis. Some affiliates haven’t taken the ISIS declaration of Caliphate lightly.

The Iraqi government’s counter-offensive is also gaining momentum.

Despite the government engaging in lengthy negotiations to help bring back nationals, many Indians have preferred to stay back after sensing the security situation improving in general.