Government concerned about diaspora’s safety in Gulf, West Asia: PM

January 8th, 2012 - 3:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Jaipur, Jan 8 (IANS) The Indian government is concerned about the safety and security of its diaspora living in areas like the Gulf and West Asia, Prime Minister Manmohn Singh said Sunday.”We are acutely conscious of the safety and security of Indians living abroad, particularly in regions characterised by instability,” the prime minister said while addressing the inaugural session of the annual diaspora meet here.

Many countries in the the Middle East, and one in the Gulf, have witnessed violent protests in the recent months. It raises concerns about the security of a large number of Indian diaspora living in the region.

“There are over six million Indians living in the Gulf and West Asia. We need to be alert to the unfolding developments in this part of the world,” the prime minister said.

“We have conveyed to the countries of the region that we have a stake in the peace and stability of this region, and that we expect that they would appropriately look after the interests of Indian communities in their countries,” he added.

The prime minister pointed out that following the upheaval in Libya last year, Indian government launched Operation Safe Homecoming to evacuate more than 16,000 people from the strife-torn areas through special flights, passenger and naval vessels. Similar evacuations were carried out from Egypt and Yemen on a lower scale.

“We stand ready to extend such help elsewhere should the need arise,” he said.

Manmohan Singh said the government last year constituted an inter-ministerial committee under the cabinet secretary to make recommendations on issues relating to repatriation, relief and rehabilitation of Indian nationals affected by recent developments in West Asia.

The overseas Indian affairs ministry has prepared an action plan to implement its recommendations, the prime minister said.

The prime minister formally inaugurated the 10th annual diaspora meet — the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) here.

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