All Punjabis stranded in strife-torn Iraq are safe, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj has told Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.The chief minister told the media in Lambi area of southwest Punjab Saturday that Sushma Swaraj spoke to him over telephone and said that all Punjabis stuck in Iraq are safe.
He said, "The Punjab government is constantly in touch with the union government to ensure the safety and prompt return of the people of Punjab stranded in Iraq."
Over 200 men, mostly youth, from Punjab are stuck in the oil-rich nation, which are witnessing fighting since early June. Some of them have been taken hostage by insurgents while others are missing.
Over 40 Indians, mostly from Punjab, are construction or skilled workers in Iraq, were kidnapped by insurgents on June 11 in northern Iraq's Mosul town. .
Punjab's NRI Affairs Minister Tota Singh said, "Till Friday evening, more than 200 families rang up the control room, giving details about their relatives stuck in Iraq, of the Indians in Iraq, the highest number 29 are from Jalandhar, 28 from Kapurthala, 23 from Amritsar and 22 from Gurdaspur district.