Par panel expresses concern over 41 Indian hostages in Iraq

Tuesday, Dec 23, 2014,0:31 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | A highlevel parliamentary committee has expressed concern over the plight of 41 Indian nationals held hostage in strifetorn Iraq and wondered whether widespread and repeated hostage taking indicates failure of government’s policy to deal with various actors in the region. The Standing Committee on External Affairs recommended that MEA must strategically and diplomatically engage with the international community and major actors in the region to ensure their safe release. The 41 Indians were working on construction projects near the Iraqi city of Mosul when they were taken into captivity by Islamic militants ISIS in June. The committee also noted that thousands of Indians were stuck in areas of violent conflict and they are willing to return and therefore, recommended that the government should equip its establishments in such zones and arrange for the expeditious evacuation of Indians. The parliamentary body also expressed its dismay over non operational of SAARC Telemedicine ENetwork and TeleEducation projects in SAARC countries despite India substantially contributing to establishment of these projects.