Using “very unconventional methods", says MEA spokesperson Akbaruddin
Shreerupa Mitra-Jha | July 4, 2014
The 46 nurses who were in captivity in Iraq have been freed and an Air India flight is on its way from New Delhi to Erbil to get them back to India, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) told the media on Friday.
The flight on its return will first stop at Kochi and then come to New Delhi. A senior diplomat is on the plane to coordinate with the Kurdish authorities and the aviation department.
Calling it a "dramatic day", official MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said, "I can confirm to you that the nurses who were kept against their will are now freed. Indian officials had already been positioned in Erbil from Baghdad should they be released."
The 39 Indian workers are still in captivity and remain unharmed. Akbaruddin asked the media to have "hope and faith that India is doing all it can to free the workers”. He also mentioned that the conventional tools of diplomacy do not exist in such a war situation. "We are in contact using very unconventional methods," said Akbaruddin, clearly hinting at negotiation with the captors.
The MEA spokesperson also said external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj is in touch with a host of her counterparts. "India has substantial friends inside and outside of Iraq" who are helping the country in this difficult situation, Akbaruddin said.
Since it is Friday in the holy month of Ramadan, work has halted as regards Indian nationals in non-conflict zone moving out of Iraq. However, the flight that has gone to pick the nurses will pick up 70 other Indian nationals who wish to leave.
In all, 2,000 Indians, mostly from southern Iraq, have signed up for returning to India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the foundation stone of hydro engineering college at Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh. The college, being set up by National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and NHPC, will provide B Tech courses in mechanical, electrical, civil and computer science discipl
Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited has commissioned a three Mega Watt solar photo voltaic power plant in Dadra and Nagar Haveli. BHEL executed this project on a turnkey basis for Dadra and Nagar Haveli power distribution corporation limited at Velugam. It
Time to go back to the drawing board, said Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday, days after his party failed to make its mark in the Delhi civic elections. In a message, Kejriwal said that in the last 2 days, I spoke to many vo
The tax net needs to be expanded and the rich farmers must pay up their taxes. This week saw quite a bit of going back and forth over this prickly issue after Niti Aayog member Bibek Debroy batted for taxing agricultural income. Niti Aayog vice chairman A
A giant yellow inflatable schistosomiasis worm, with ‘Making Schistory’ printed on it, floated on Lake Geneva, marking the five years since the London Declaration on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Though in 2015 about 1.59 billion people received treatment for at least
In order to provide broadband connectivity of BharatNet to post offices in rural areas, Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL), department of posts and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) have signed a tripartite agreement. The agreement is the first tri-partite MoU which