The crew members of mv Suez reached Karachi on Thursday aboard Pakistani warship PNS Zulfiquar after 10 months in captivity of Somali pirates and 10 days of further uncertainty as they had to change ship twice after they were released on June 13.
While there was no official word on when the six Indians on board the vessel would be able to return home, the local agent of mv Suez, Majid Aziz, told The Hindu that they were scheduled to leave for Mumbai through Dubai late on Thursday night. If all went as per schedule, they would reach Mumbai on Friday morning.
The PNS Zulfiquar docked at the Karachi port in the evening in full media glare, with Governor of Sindh Ishrat Ul Ebad leading the welcome of the 22 crew members from four countries. Besides the Indians, the crew included Pakistanis, Egyptians and a Sri Lankan. Officials from the three foreign missions, including Indian visa counsellor Suhel Khan, were at the port to give assistance to their nationals. The officials were allowed to meet their nationals.
It was a tearful reunion with their families for the Pakistani crew members, whose cause was taken up by human rights activist Ansar Burney and Mr. Ebad. Together they mobilised $ 1.1 million as part payment towards the $2.1-million ransom demanded by the pirates.
Later, the Governor’s House was thrown open for a reception for all the crew members. Hindu