As the momentum of evacuation picked up, the facilitation process of transporting Indian nationals from Iraq is focused on the non conflict zone in southern Iraq, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told reporters today.
Four mobile teams of six persons each have been placed in Najaf, Karbala and Basra apart from Baghdad which have collected details of those who would like to leave for home.
"Our advice to them is to leave. But if they are facing problems or are staying back because of tickets, Government of India is ready to provide them. We are also ready to provide assistance in terms of contractual problems. Based on that our assessment is 2,200 Indian nationals have in some form or other expressed their desire to leave Iraq," he said.
Of these, Akbaruddin said 600 have been provided tickets by the Government through the facilitation process of the Baghdad mission. 600 have been paid by their companies. Another 1,600 were being provided tickets by Government for their return, he said adding that since developments in the last 48 hours, the government has calibrated its approach and the momentum of bringing back people has picked up.
Yesterday, 170 people were brought and this morning an Iraqi Airways special flight brought 200 people to Delhi. In addition Iraqi Airways is also flying normal flights from Baghdad. In the next 36 to 48 hours, two other special flights from Najaf and Basra will bring 200 and 280 people respectively to Delhi.