Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday called up former Indian ambassador to Iraq Suresh Reddy, who has been especially deputed by the Centre to oversee the rescue operations of Indians trapped in the strife-torn country to ensure safe and prompt return of the Punjabis to the state.
The chief minister urged Reddy to sort out the issues of those Punjabis who were willing to come back but their employers were reluctant to relieve them, adding that the Centre must get any issue related to the employers settled through direct intervention of the labour department of the Iraqi government on priority.
Badal said any Punjabi who was willing to return to Punjab but was hesitating to do so for the financial burden incurred by him or his family on account of hefty loans or advance money taken for their immigration to Iraq, should come back as the state government would bear the entire expenditure incurred by them or their families.
Meanwhile, the joint secretary (Gulf and Haj) from the ministry of external affairs Mridul Kumar called on the chief minister in New Delhi on Thursday morning to apprise him of the initiatives taken by the Centre for the safe and early evacuation of Indians, especially Punjabis, stuck in Iraq.
Badal asked the joint secretary to bail out Punjabis trapped in the war zone there by facilitating them a safe return to their country.