KARACHI - The seven Pakistani hostages released by Somali pirates after almost 1.5 years reached their homeland on Thursday.
Their release was secured after intense efforts by Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad, Human Rights activist Ansar Burney and real estate tycoon Malik Riaz. The pirates released the hostages on Wednesday.
The hostages arrived at Karachi airport in a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight. Citizen Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) chief Ahmed Chinoy also accompanied the seven hostages. The seven Pakistanis include Captain Mujtaba Rafique, Kashiful Islam, Faqir Mohammad, Ahsan Naveed, Raheel Anwar, Zulfiqar Ali and Javed Saleem.
The governor and chief minister of Sindh welcomed the seven hostages. The hostages’ relatives were joyous over the return of their loved ones. In November 2010, 23 crew members on board MV Albedo were kidnapped by Somali pirates. The seven Pakistanis were taken to Nairobi after their release. The remaining 15 crewmembers, including seven Bangladeshis, six Sri Lankans, one Indian and an Iranian remain in pirates’ custody.