Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Monday said he would again meet union minister for external affairs Sushma Swaraj to ask her to expedite the process of bringing back 39 Punjabis trapped in Mosul region of war-torn Iraq.
This assurance was given by the CM to a delegation of these Punjabis’ family members who met him here. The delegation was led by revenue, information and public relations minister Bikram Singh Majithia.
The CM said he was keeping a close liaison with the union government, officers of the ministry of external affairs (MEA) and India’s special envoy to Iraq Suresh Reddy to ensure safe and prompt return of every Punjabi stuck in Iraq.
Expressing satisfaction over the efforts made by the Centre, he asked the distressed families to have faith in the central government for the safe arrival of Indians stranded in Iraq.
Badal also assured them that the state government, too, was making efforts to expedite the process for the release of their kin. On the occasion, the CM spoke to Suresh Reddy on the phone to have the latest update. Reddy informed the CM that all these 39 Punjabis were safe and the Centre was exploiting all diplomatic channels for ensuring their early release.
Earlier, 18 Punjabis returned from Iraq on Sunday at New Delhi on a special flight. Stating this, a spokesperson for the Punjab chief minister’s office said out of these 18 youths, seven were from Hoshiarpur, six from Kapurthala, three from Jalandhar and two from Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshahr) district.
The spokesperson said the chief minister was keeping close tabs on the situation and chief secretary Sarvesh Kaushal had been asked to ensure hassle-free immigration clearance of the persons returning from Iraq.