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, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told reporters here on Sunday.

Four mobile teams of six persons each have been placed in Najaf, Karbala and Basra apart from Baghdad.
"Our advice to them is to leave. But if they are facing problems or are staying back because of tickets, the Government of India is ready to provide them the tickets. 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.
Another 1,600 persons were being provided tickets by the government for their return, he said, adding that the government has calibrated its approach and the momentum of bringing back people has picked up.

170 people were brought to Delhi on Saturday. An Iraqi Airways special flight brought back around 200 people to Delhi on Sunday morning.

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.
Akbaruddin said the Indian mission was processing documents for facilitating the exit of 200 plus people. In the next 48 hours, all the 1,600 people who have expressed their desire to come back on tickets paid by the government would have been transported.
He further said that there were ten commercial flights available from Baghdad to various points in the gulf and and the government was using all seats that were available on these flights. In addition, the government was commissioning special flights of Iraqi Airways from other areas.
"With that we will be able to complete the process of bringing back all those who wanted to come back.  We are also doing due diligence," he said.

Referring to the easing of the situation, Akbaruddin said that approximately 480 calls were received in control rooms in Delhi and Baghdad. He said it was a judgement of the individuals whether they want to come back.
Commenting on the problem of Indians in the conflict zone, Akbaruddin said that he would not like to go into it now. He added that even one life is valuable to the government.


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