Union external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday accepted Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s request for opening another passport office in Nawanshahr to facilitate NRIs and their families in Doaba, while assuring to look into the issue of blacklisted Sikh youth settled abroad.
The issues came up for discussion when Amarinder called on Swaraj here. She promised all possible efforts by the Centre to ensure the safety and security of Punjabis and Sikhs abroad.
The Nawanshahr passport office will be in addition to the recently sanctioned passport office in Patiala, which is to be inaugurated soon.
Amarinder expressed concern over the delay in removing the names of Sikh youth in the government’s blacklist for their alleged involvement in subversive or anti-India activities. Swaraj said she would take up the issue with the home ministry, which was in the process of pruning the list.
The chief minister urged the Union minister to take up the matter of racist attacks on Punjabis abroad at the international level. Swaraj said she had been pursuing the matter.
Amarinder also raised the issue of setting up Punjab-Israel working groups to boost cooperation in security, agriculture and trade. The proposal to set up such groups was made by Israeli ambassador Daniel Carmon at his meeting with the chief minister earlier in the day.