Where are the missing Indians in Mosul? Iraqi Minister flip-flops (Third Lead)

Sushma Swaraj to hold talks with Iraqi counterpart on Indians abducted by IS

The fate of these Indians is set to come up during bilateral talks between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim al-Jaafari today.

"I am not 100 per cent sure if the 39 Indians missing in Mosul are alive", al-Jaafari told the media.

"We want the government of India to show seriousness in this case so that we can find out what really happened to the 39 men from our country", said Gurpinder Kaur, a representative of the families.

"We have no substantial evidence that they [the Indians] were killed or they are still alive, so we can not give anything in that regard", al-Jaafari told reporters after the meeting.

After his return, Ms Swaraj had reportedly told the families of the abducted Indians that they could be in Badush jail.

Other affected families, who all are from poor backgrounds from different parts of Punjab, say that they have nothing but to pin hopes on the government's and the minister's assurances.

Search for the 39 missing Indian labourers who were kidnapped in Mosul three years ago is expected to gather momentum with the visit of Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, who arrives here on Monday on a five-day visit.

In the talks, Swaraj and al-Jaafari made a decision to take steps to boost cooperation in areas of education, trade, energy and healthcare, official sources said.

This was revealed by the Iraqi Minister during his meeting with Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj. He said some IS-held areas were still being cleared.

The volume of bilateral trade in 2016-17 was almost Dollars 13 billion. Iraq also contributes significantly to India's energy security and is the second-largest supplier of crude oil to India (over 37 MMT during 2016-17).

Last month, over three years after the take over, ISIS was pushed out of Mosul by Iraqi forces.

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