As many as 1,000 people in Iraq have approached Indian officials with the request that they want to move out of Iraq while almost an equal number have expressed a wish to stay on. “We will provide all the assistance to those who want to come back,” said external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin.
Indian officials contacted 415 workers in Basra — which is not a part of the conflict zone — and found that none of the workers wanted to leave the country.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi government and the international Red Crescent have urged the external affairs ministry to restrain India from reporting the crisis in a manner that endangers the lives of people in the conflict zone.
Speaking about the 39 Indians in captivity, Akbaruddin said that India’s understanding was that they were unharmed.
He added that about 230 people had left Iraq so far. The spokesperson also said that India had agreed to lend a hand to Nepal — which has no embassy in Iraq — to facilitate the departure of Nepalese nationals from Iraq.