Checkmating Islamists in Iraq

ByJAGDISH N SINGH
July 7, 2014 16:19

It's time for India and other democracies to get serious about checkmating Islamists in Iraq.




India kidnapping in Iraq

School students pray for the Indian citizens kidnapped in Iraq, at a school in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad June 20, 2014. India has learned the location of 40 of its citizens kidnapped in Iraq by suspected Islamist militants and believes they are being held captive with workers of other nat. (photo credit:REUTERS/AMIT DAVE)

The Narendra Modi government deserves applause for its success in safely bringing home its nationals, including 46 nurses, who were stranded in the non-conflict zone of Iraq. However, its mission is far from complete. There are many more Indians still in the strife-torn Iraq. New Delhi has still little news about the 39 Indians, most of whom belong to the Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh regions, held in Iraq.

Recently, Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj assured their relatives the necessary steps are being done to end their ordeals. They all have to be protected and brought back home safe. Foreign Minister Swaraj needs to activate all her instruments of diplomacy further and have all dimensions of the Iraq crisis adequately taken care of. New Delhi should consider contributing to the emergence of a friendly regime in Baghdad, which would ensure an uninterrupted flow of its oil to India from the areas controlled by the Kurds and the Shias.

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