Govt braces for possible rescue of Nepalis in Iraq

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Govt braces for possible rescue of Nepalis in Iraq

Jun 19, 2014-

While officials scramble to ascertain the number of Nepalis working in Iraq, the Foreign Ministry has prepared a contingency plan to rescue nationals from the war-ravaged country.

The ministry has asked the relatives back home to inform the government about the address and status of their family members in Iraq in preparation for rescue efforts that may be required in the days to come.

“We have prepared a contingency plan even though we have not received any report of danger facing Nepalis in Iraq,” said Shanker Das Bairagi, the officiating foreign secretary.

The ministry has designated a toll-free number to acquire information on Nepalis in Iraq. A team will update the information concerning them from 8am to 8pm. Info may be emailed to rescue@mofa.gov.np.

“We have been coordinating with the ministries of Home and Labour and our missions in Pakistan and Kuwait to prepare for an emergency. We are also closely following the plans of neighboring countries to rescue their citizens if the need arises,” he said, counting on the help of neighbours in the mission.

Despite a ban, an estimated 20-25 thousand Nepalis are working in Iraq, most having got there by illegal channels. Their rescue will be complicated in the lack of official records. Some international media have reported that Nepalis are among South Asian and other nationals abducted by rebels in Iraq.

In a news conference on Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Dipak Dhital

said the situation is worsening by the day so the government was weighing options to pull its citizens out of a looming danger.

Published: 20-06-2014 08:50

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