Situation in Arab, North African countries has echo in LS

The House also witnessed a demand for setting up of a Unified Command Structure comprising the ministries of External Affairs, Overseas Indian Affairs, Civil Aviation and Defence.

The issue was raised during the Zero Hour by B Mahtab (BJD) who wanted the House to adopt a resolution in support of people's upsurge in the Arab countries for freedom.

He said recent developments in the Arab countries had demonstrated that the urge for democratic rights could not be curtailed.

"Winds of change have started in West Asia and North African countries," Mahtab said, adding it had found resonance even in China.

He found support from Jose K Mani, a member of Kerala Congress, who said the worsening situation in the Arab and some African countries particularly, Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, was a matter of concern.

Mani said pointed out that thousands of Indians, many of them from Kerala, were stranded in these countries and were undergoing "mental and physical" trauma.

Referring to government's contention that it was closely monitoring the situation, he said India's efforts were inadequate.

"The government should act with a sense of urgency. I urge the government to rush rescue teams there," Mani said.

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