The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
On Hostages in Iraq
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) expresses grave concern at the continuing threat to the lives of the three Indian truck drivers who are being held hostage in Iraq.
The Polit Bureau had earlier asked the government to respond to the demands of the abductors by announcing that Indian citizens will not be allowed to engage in any activities to help the American occupation there. Even now the government should make a categorical announcement that Indians will not be allowed to proceed to Iraq directly or indirectly to work in activities connected with the American military operations. Further, the Indian government should act firmly against the agencies which are recruiting Indians for sending them to Iraq illegally through Kuwait and other countries. Earlier too, the CPI(M) had demanded that such agencies should be proceeded against.
The Indian government should also prohibit the Kuwait and Gulf Transport company from recruiting Indians for this purpose.
India has not sent troops to Iraq and the UPA government must make it clear that as per the parliament resolution, it does not approve of a continued military occupation of Iraq by the US and British forces.
These steps are necessary if the safety of the Indian hostages is to be ensured.