From Qatar to Pakistan, Modi govt’s diplomacy ensures success of India’s rescue missions
New Delhi, Feb 12 (IANS) Undoubtedly, the release of eight Indian Navy veterans by Qatar could be possible only as a result of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s diplomatic efforts.
The welcome development reflects his unwavering commitment to ensuring the security and well-being of all Indians, irrespective of geographical boundaries.
Definitely, a lot of hard work and diplomatic efforts made by PM Modi and his team of diplomats in Delhi resulted in the safe return of the Navy veterans from Qatar.
The PM’s meeting with Qatari Amir Tamim Bin Hamad on December 1 last year in Dubai helped achieve the release of these officials, nearly 18 months after they were arrested in an alleged case of espionage.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) appreciated the decision of the Emir of Qatar to enable the release and home-coming of the Indians -- marking a big diplomatic win for India.
This shows the Modi government’s determined focus on rescuing Indian citizens who are stranded either abroad or on domestic soil.
The government under his leadership has always ensured that Indians facing troubles anywhere in the world or in any part of the country are not abandoned. They should not be left in the lurch. Rather, they should be extended a helping hand by the government even in the toughest times.
The rescue missions that have been carried out so far by the Modi government to evacuate Indian citizens from embattled, natural calamity-hit, or any crisis-ridden region have been successful. Not only Indians, but foreigners were also rescued by such Indian evacuation missions.
The memory is still fresh in the minds about how the Modi government’s coercive diplomacy forced Pakistan to set free captured Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman without torturing him.
He had been held captive by Pakistan. A day after the Balakot surgical strike in 2019, while countering the misadventure by the Pakistan Air Force, Abhinandan was captured by Pakistan after he landed in the neighbouring territory. However, then Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced in the National Assembly his government's plan to release Abhinandan.
While focusing on grueling rescue missions abroad, Prime Minister Modi never ignored Indian citizens who were stranded on domestic soil, be they poor or rich. In this context, the mission to evacuate 41 workers who were stuck in the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarakhand was remarkable.
PM Modi himself made it a point to keep a close watch over the operations to bring the workers back alive from the tunnel. As a result of days of hard work, all the construction workers emerged smiling from the tunnel in November last year.
Modi was quick to share his happiness and satisfaction over the success of the operation.
“The success of the rescue operation of our workers is an emotional moment for everyone. To the workers who were trapped, I want to say that your courage and patience is inspiring. I wish you good health and well being,” the Prime Minister had posted on X.
“It is a matter of great satisfaction that now our workers will be able to meet their loved ones after a long wait. Their relatives showed immense patience and courage in the testing times,” he said.
“I salute the spirit of everyone involved in the rescue operation. Their valour and determination have given a new life to the workers. Every individual involved in this rescue mission has set an example of humanity and team work,” Modi added.
These comments also served a message that the top leadership of the country takes safety of the lives of its citizens as priority, no matter where they live.
There are several shining examples when the government led by PM Modi reached out to Indians in times of crisis even if they were thousands of miles away from home.
The Modi government exemplified its care for citizens through a series of remarkable and tough evacuation operations. India’s rescue operations were carried out with surgical precision and skillfully, due to which they became the case study for the rest of the world. The relentless pursuit of safety and security of Indian nationals stranded in war-ravaged zones in different parts of the world impressed the entire international community.
The names that the government gave to each of its missions are unique and interesting as they were related to the nation and its culture.
To begin with, the Modi government’s ‘Operation Ajay’ brought back 18,000 Indian nationals from war-torn Israel and Gaza in what was considered to be a very difficult situation as conflict was escalating after Israel’s retaliation against Hamas’ attack.
The 'Operation Kaveri' was another outstanding rescue mission which was launched to bring back 3,000 stranded Indians from conflict-struck Sudan in 2023. As part of this operation, Indian ships and aircraft were deployed to bring back Indians stranded there.
One of the most memorable endeavours undertaken by the government under the leadership of PM Modi was ‘Operation Ganga’. This operation was aimed at bringing back Indian citizens stranded in conflict-ridden Ukraine. Scores of citizens of other countries were also rescued under this mission in what reaffirmed PM Modi’s focus on the spirit of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’.
Operation Ganga was an example of the government’s meticulously-coordinated efforts to ensure the safe return of thousands of distressed Indians from war-ridden Ukraine.
In a display of India’s commitment to its nationals seeking help while facing trouble abroad, ‘Operation Raahat’ was launched in 2015 to rescue Indian citizens from Yemen that was reeling under civil war.
There was a herculean effort in sight during this operation, as the naval vessels, aircraft apart from diplomatic channels were pressed into service. Over 4,000 Indians and citizens of neighbouring countries were air-lifted safely from the crisis-hit zones in what showcased India’s unwavering determination to stand by its people, no matter which part of the world they are in.
The government also reached out to earthquake-ravaged Nepal with 'Operation Maitri' in 2015. This was a humanitarian mission focusing on providing relief and assistance to the neighbouring country in what showed PM Modi’s thrust on his government’s 'Neighbourhood First' policy.
In 2016, 'Operation Sankat Mochan' was launched to bring back Indian citizens from South Sudan after violence hit the country.
'Operation Samudra Setu' was a mission that also instills a sense of pride in every Indian. Under this, the Indian Navy had rescued around 4,000 Indians who were stranded in the sea during the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
The 'Mission Vande Bharat' was aimed to rescue Indians from foreign shores during the Covid-19 pandemic, which became the biggest civilian evacuation mission. At least 2.97 crore Indians were facilitated in the flights operated under Vande Bharat Mission during 2020-22.
Operation 'Devi Shakti' was aimed at evacuating Indians from Afghanistan after the Taliban take-over of the country in August 2021.
Following the massive earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on February 6, 2023, Prime Minister Modi had directed that all possible assistance be extended to the affected people. In pursuance of this, 'Operation Dost' was launched to provide necessary support in terms of search and rescue (SAR) efforts as well as medical assistance.
This involved a whole-of-government approach with coordination among various agencies.