| Mustafa Kamaal Hussain |
The family of Mustafa Kamaal Hashmi breathed a sigh of relief late on Monday evening after a much-awaited phone call from him, ending a fortnight of anxiety, tension and apprehension.
A resident of Tikri mohalla of Aurangabad district, around 110km south of Patna, Hashmi, is in war-ravaged Iraq since March this year working as an electrical supervisor with the Calethon group headquartered in Switzerland.
Hashmi’s wife Adra Mustafa said she had received a call from her husband around 9.15pm on Monday. “Yes, it is a relief. He called in suddenly yesterday (Monday) and we had a chat with him for around 3 to 4 minutes. He explained that the mobile network in Basra had not been working since many days and hence he couldn’t give us a call. Also, the Internet connection was down and all means to contact us were futile, he said. He told us that he was safe and there was no violence in Basra at present. We urged him to return but he said things were fine. We had been waiting for this call for almost 15 days now. Now we can breathe easy,” Adra said.
On June 19, The Telegraph had reported that Mustafa’s family was very worried, as they were not able to get in touch with him since nine days. They said all attempts to contact the embassy in Delhi had failed and they were not getting any help from the local district administration. At present, Iraq is witnessing violence in many cities by extremists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, said to be an offspring of the Al Qaida. Earlier, it had been said that around 40 Indians had been abducted by the militants and that the Centre was doing its best to get them back.
Today, the Indian government announced that 17 more Indians had been extracted from the conflict zones of Iraq. The family, however, wishes for Hashmi to return with fighting still continuing in the country.
“It is good that we have had a word with him and that Basra is safe. But then the nation as a whole is in unrest and people are being mercilessly killed. The militants are capturing oil reserves too taking one city after another. Under these circumstances, we do not want him to stay there. Though we are at peace for the moment, we are anxious about the happenings in the country,” Adra said.