Iraq Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari today said that even as his government is not sure about the fate of 39 missing Indians in the country, Iraq is putting all its effort to trace them. “We are not sure 100 pct they are alive or not, we don’t know, going to do our best”, he was quoted as saying by the ANI. Earlier in the day, the visiting minister met his Indian counterpart. As per Indian Express, focus of the meeting between two leaders was reportedly on 39 missing Indians in Iraq, who were reportedly kidnapped by terrorist group ISIS about three years ago from Mosul.
Both leaders also discussed a range of bilateral issues between both countries. His visit in India had come two days after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had announced liberation of Mosul from ISIS. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who had earlier met relatives of missing Indians had said they might be imprisoned in Badush region of northwest Mosul, where fighting between terrorist group and Iraqi forces is still on, the paper added.
Speaking to family members, Sushma had said that an Iraqi official quoting intelligence sources had told Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh, that missing Indians were in a hospital, from where they were shifted to a farm, before being put in Badush jail. However, an Iraqi media report on Saturday had claimed that the jail was abandoned several weeks back.
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She had also told family members that Al-Jafari might come with new information on the missing 39 Indians. In the meantime, Shiromani Akali Dal leader Chandu Majra sought answers from Centre on the issue in Parliament. While speaking in the Lok Sabha earlier in the day, he said that most of missing citizens are from Punjab and “the truth must be let out”, Indian Express said.