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After 10 months of captivity, MV Suez sailors to return home

June 20, 2011 12:32 IST

The 22 crew members, including six Indians, of Egyptian merchant vessel MV Suez will reach Karachi before being sent back to their respective countries, Pakistani human rights activist Ansar Burney has said.

Burney, who has played a pivotal role in securing the release of the crew, hoped the return of the Indian sailors would be a "gift" to India.

Besides the six Indians, there are five Pakistanis and one Sri Lankan among the crew, which was on Sunday transferred to Pakistani warship PNS Babar after the vessel started sinking.

"I hope this will be a good gift to India from my side. I love you all Indians, I love you all Pakistanis," Burney said.

"After they reach, I will send them by the next flight to their respective countries," he told CNN-IBN.

MV Suez was on its way to the Omani port of Salalah when it ran out of fuel and began sinking in the stormy weather.

On getting a call for assistance, Pakistan Navy chief Admiral Noman Bashir ordered the vessel's crew to be shifted to the frigate PNS Babar, which was escorting it.

Burney played a crucial role in arranging for ransom and negotiating with the Somali pirates who had held the ship for 10 months.

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