Family members hope for fast return of their kin from Mosul

Family members hope for fast return of their kin from Mosul

Family members hope for fast return of their kin from Mosul
Distressed families of the 39 Indians, mostly Punjabi’s, held hostage in the city of Mosul since 2014, now see a hope of the return of their loved ones after the Iraqi government on Sunday announced that the city of Mosul has been retaken from the Islamic States (IS).

Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Monday spoke to external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on the issue of safe return of the Indian construction workers, whose families living in Punjab have been spending days and nights fearing the worst. Swaraj assured Singh that her ministry was making all-out efforts to trace and facilitate the return of the 39 Indians from Mosul. Sushma said General VK Singh (retd) had been sent to Iraq to coordinate with the Iraqi government to facilitate the return of the Indians stuck there.

According to Singh, Sushma conveyed to him that her ministry had activated all available sources to trace the missing Indians who were last heard of hiding in a church in Mosul. Multiple channels have been activated to bring them back to India.

The news of Iraqi forces regaining Mosul from IS forces has come as a glimmer of hope for families in Punjab. Harbhajan Kaur of Amritsar said her 26-year old son Harsimranjit Singh went to work in Iraq in 2013. She said ever since his capture in 2014, there has been no communication from him. Families have met Sushma Swaraj several times to persuade the ministry to go out of the way to evacuate the youth. Seema of Majitha in Punjab, whose husband Sonu is also among those held hostage, said, “I just want my husband to return safely. I now see hope”, Seema said.

The CM informed Sushma Swaraj about the doleful plight of the families of the hostages. Swaraj, the CM said, has directed the Indian embassy to extend all help to the stranded Indians. Air Indian officials at the airports have also been instructed to facilitate their return. While Sushma had held several meetings with the families of the hostages over the months, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also has been raising the issues with other countries in the middle east region.
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