Union Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Wednesday urged External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar to direct the embassy in Iraq to give all necessary assistance to facilitate the return of seven Punjabi youth who were stranded in Erbil city for the last seven months.
Badal, who will be meeting Dr S Jaishankar along with the families of the seven youth on Thursday evening, has written to the External Affairs Minister to take steps to expedite the safe return of the seven youth from Jalandhar and Kapurthala districts. The youth were in dire straits because they could not work for a living due to lack of work permits. The Shiromani Akali Dal on its part would pay for the tickets to bring the youth back to their homeland, she said.
Giving a brief about the case, she said the seven youth had been duped by two travel agents who had promised them jobs in Iraq. The agents had taken money to provide the necessary work papers but did not provide any documents to them to make them eligible to work in Iraq.
Badal said the youth had appealed to the state as well as the central government to repatriate them and demanded action against the travel agents who had left them in the lurch without any identity cards.
She thanked Dr Jaishankar for giving time to the family member of the affected youth so that they could brief him about the difficulties being faced by their wards.