PNS Zulfiqar carrying the crew of the MV Suez reached Karachi after six days of sea journey and berthed at about 04:30pm. Four Pakistanis Ship Captain Wasi Hasan, Engineer Syed Alam, Chief Officer Ali Rehman and Diesel Mechanic Muzzammil were among the freed hostages.
Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan, chief of Ansar Burney Trust Ansar Burney, his brother, CPLC chief Ahmad Chinoy, families of Pakistani hostages and many more prominent people were present at this occasion to welcome the freed hostages on their release after 10 months of captivity by the Somali pirates.
Ansar Burney, Pakistani human rights advocate who was the main driving force behind the release of the hostages thanked Naval Chief Admiral Noman Bashir and DG Inter Services Intelligence Lt-Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha for their active role in the release of the hostages.
A special ceremony was held at the Sindh Governor House to celebrate the safe arrival of all hostages from Somalia. MV Suez's crew included four Pakistanis, one Sri Lankan and 11 Egyptians.
Six Indian sailors has also reached Delhi via a flight from the Karachi. Relatives of the Indian crew of the MV Suez were holding posters that said "Thank You, Burney Uncle".
Indian sailors had earlier reached Karachi via a Pakistani frigate F-22P PNS Zulfiqar.
Somali pirates released the crew of the MV Suez after the ransom amount of USD 2.1 million was paid. Earlier Indians failed to raise their part of the ransom and it was also paid by the Pakistan. Pakistani Human Rights activist Ansar Burney played a key role in the safe release of the sailors.
MV Suez was attacked once again by pirates just after their release and ship repeatedly asked Indian Navy for help but its requests were rejected. Ship Capitin then contacted Pakistan Navy which immediately sent PNS Babur to escort the MVSuez to safety.
It was after sever criticism by the Indian media and families of the sailors, India sent NS Godavari which arrived at the scene too late. Angry Indian naval hip conducted aggressive manouevres against Pakistani warship which led to a strong protest by the Pakistan.
MV Suez's crew was transferred to the PNS Babur after it ran into technical troubles. Sailors were then transferred to the F-22P PNS Zulfiqar frigate which brought the sailors home safely.