A cold war is always on between Iran and the Arabs. Most Arab Shias support Iran. Lebanon’s organisation of Shias (Hezbollah) led by Syed Hasan Nasrullah is a staunch supporter of Iran and Bashar Al Assad of Syria. Iran is supposed to be the leader of the Shias of the world, while it is generally believed that Saudi Arabia is the leader of Wahabis. Sunnis are also ignored by Saudi Arabs. Sufi Muslims of India are Sunnis and as a group they are in a vast majority in the Indian Muslim community, but Saudi Arabia doesn’t acknowledge them and their importance due to their Hindu ancestry, ways and lifestyle. After the fall of Saddam Hussain following the US invasion in 2003, Iraq has come to be ruled by Shia majority. Sunnis have been feeling left out and Al Qaeda, the Wahabis militant group, has been taking advantage of this and operating there with support from sections of disgruntled Sunnis. Sunnis with the help of Wahabis (Takfiris) rose in rebellion in the neighbouring Syria against what some say is the Shia rule of Al Assad more than three years ago. As we know, the rebellion in Syria was launched as part of Arab Spring which actually sprouted in Tunisia in December of 2010 when a poor vendor put himself ablaze in the capital city of Tunis and died, blaming the government for its indifference to his woes. The rebel groups in Syria have received funding from some rich Arab countries, it is alleged by Damascus. During the three years of rebellion in Syria, much of which is crushed now, an offshoot of Al Qaeda has emerged. It is called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). It has ambitions to control Syria and Iraq, “reclaiming these countries from Shias.” This group is also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
During this brutality, the other country workers goes on stake. Indians go there to earn their living. The group of workers, some from Punjab were working on a government construction project in Mosul, which was over-run by ISIS militants last week has been kidnapped. The group had tried to move out of the city to travel towards Baghdad, when they were accosted by armed militia and taken to another unknown location. Indian officials in Baghdad lost contact with about 40 Indian construction workers in Mosul, and fear many of them have been kidnapped. The root cause of the present situation in Iraq is USA. It is America, which made this country a hell. What will the Indian government do, when that place is not even under the control of Iraqi government? The attack started 6 days back and the Iraqi army ran away. We cannot transport them since the place is not secure. What was Indian government doing, when terrorists had begun assault many days back? Why didn’t they extract their civilians on time? Now, their families have to pay the price. Anyway, we cannot expect anything from the government. Americans have sent additional forces beforehand, does an Indian’s life have no value? World should know India has arrived along with Modi.
Meanwhile, India has set up a 24-hour helpline and is trying to find a way of evacuating its citizens. The militants are around 60 km from Baghdad, according to latest reports. At least 100 more Indian workers could be stranded in Tikrit, which was Saddam’s stronghold and Erbil, a city where many are taking refuge from the violence. Among them are 46 nurses from Kerala who are stranded in Tikrit. They sent out an SOS to the Kerala government. Over 10,000 Indians are estimated to be living in Iraq, where insurgents of the Al Qaeda inspired Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have overrun cities, killing hundreds of Shia troops in their march to Baghdad. The Obama administrations has not ruled out air strikes and say they are pursuing every possible option, including working with Iran, to try and resolve the conflict. It is the fault of Ministry of External Affairs who was not prompt to take an action to evacuate the Indians. They are not even thinking of it now. They might need to pay a big price later on. Sushma Swaraj , if not able to handle then she should resign.
Kerala government too is extremely worried about the situation for them as well as for 46 nurses in Tikrit hospitals. They are counselling all Indian nationals to stay indoors and not move out of their compounds until they are able to secure their safe return. As appeals came in from their families in India as well as nurses’ associations, officials confirmed that the International Red Cross had been asked to make direct contact with them. Some of the nurses who were able to take phone calls reportedly said they were all safe, but frightened by constant firing in their vicinity. 36 of the 44 nurses were willing to return while eight had informed the Indian Embassy that they were waiting for their salary arrears to be cleared. Even if they return, no government would compensate their losses.
Thiruvananthapuram will to provide information about the Malayalis stranded in Iraq. They might be more in numbers. Also a war torn state has good employment opportunity and as Indians do not get easy visas to enter in Iraq, so first they enter in nearby country and from there they are sent in this country illegally in lieu of higher perks. India must balance relation between both parties in the war.