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6 urgent steps that the NDA government must take to safely bring back Indian from Iraq, according to Shashi Tharoor

Saturday, 21 June 2014 - 2:00pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Thiruvananthapuram MP and former minister of state in the ministry of external affairs, Shashi Tharoor, told dna that to safely bring back Indian from Iraq, the NDA government should take some urgent steps, such as:

1) Open communication lines to victims and for their families, including a 24/7 hotline

2) Establish contact with the Iraqi government for information and intelligence on the victims, including their exact location and means of egress if any

3) Contact institutions with ground presence, such as the UN mission in Iraq, the Red Cross/Red Crescent, and international humanitarian NGOs in the area, to see if they can provide information and logistical support to the victims

4) Try to arrange secure transport for the victims to a safe airport (this will depend on the fighting in the area, which is beyond the control of Iraqi authorities)

5) Arrange a charter aircraft to that safe airport. Since Baghdad is imperiled, the only viable way out would be from airports in the Kurdish autonomous area — Erbil and Suleimaniya

6) If possible, establish contact with those holding Indian citizens, to arrange for their release from captivity or detention, and their safe departure to a secure airport when circumstances permit.

"I have no doubt that the government is doing every single one of the things above. India has neither the military presence in the area nor the logistical capacity to try a "Boy's Own Adventure" intervention-and-rescue operation with paratroopers, since we will not have armoured vehicles on the ground to move the rescued nor be able to fly in the firepower to overcome the insurgents."
— Shashi Tharoor

READ MORE: Latest on Iraq Crisis

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