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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

Govt making efforts for safe return of Punjabis: Badal

PTI, PTI  Chandigarh, July 04, 2014
First Published: 18:12 IST(4/7/2014) | Last Updated: 19:01 IST(4/7/2014)

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today assured the distressed families of the persons trapped in strife-torn Iraq that the state government was making all out efforts to ensure their safe and prompt return to the country.

Interacting with 16 such families from Mandi Gobind Garh, who called on the Chief Minister at his residence today, Badal said the state government was in constant touch with the External Affairs Ministry over the issue.

Later, the Chief Minister called up former Indian Ambassador to Iraq Suresh Reddy, who has been specially deputed by the Union government 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.

Badal asked Reddy to also sort out the issues of those Punjabis who were willing to comeback but their employers were reluctant to relieve them due to certain reasons.

The Chief Minister also spoke over phone to the Joint Secretary (Gulf and Haj) from Ministry of External Affairs Mridul Kumar and asked him to ensure safe and early evacuation of Indians especially the Punjabis stuck over in Iraqi civil war.

Badal asked the Joint Secretary to make concerted efforts to ensure the release of these 16 Punjabis, who were prevented a factory owner to return back to their homes.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister reiterated that any Punjabi who was willing to return Punjab but reluctant to do so for the financial burden incurred by him on account of hefty loans taken for their immigration to Iraq, should come back to their motherland as the state government would bear such entire expenditure incurred by them or their family.

He said that it was the bounden duty of the state government to help the distressed Punjabis and their families in this hour of crisis by relieving them of such mental agony.

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