Sunday, 22 October, 2017

Iraq not sure of fate of 39 Indians

Sushma Swaraj to hold talks with Iraqi counterpart on Indians abducted by IS 39 missing Indians: Congress attacks Centre for 'zero efforts', prepares privilege motion against Swaraj
Christy Curtis | 25 July, 2017, 01:50

His statement shocked the family members who were hoping some positive information from Iraq particularly after New Delhi had recently claimed the missing Indian were alive and "everything possible" was being done to ensure their safe return. "We are doing our best", Al-Jafari said.

This was revealed by the Iraqi Minister during his meeting with Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj.

"We have no substantial evidence that they (the Indians) were killed or they are still alive, so we can not give anything in that regard", visiting Iraqi foreign minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari told reporters in New Delhi earlier in the day.

Referring to media reports that the jail in Badush where Swaraj said that abducted Indians may be languishing was in ruins, the main Opposition party alleged that she had "lost all credibility".

Sushma Swaraj had said that with the freeing of Mosul on July 9 from the Islamic State militants the process to trace and rescue the missing Indians would be taken forward. "We are making serious efforts to find out more in this issue", said Mr Al-Jaafari. He said the Peshmerga were still clearing the ISIS held areas.

Iraq Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Eshaiker Al-Jafari, who is on a visit to India for four days, said Iraqi authorities were clueless about the 39 Indians that went missing in Iraq. Iraq contributes significantly to India's energy security and is the second-largest supplier of crude oil to India in 2016-17 with a total volume of over 37 MMT. Apart from Sushma Swaraj, al-Jaafari met Vice President Hamid Ansari and Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan.

Although, the main agenda t to hold a discussion will focus on the 39 Indians kidnapped by the Islamic State from Iraq's Mosul three years back.

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