Is the worst over for MV Suez?

Pakistan’s escorting effort is being disturbed by none other than India, whose own nationals are on the ship.

Waqas Rafique June 18, 2011
It is really hard to decide which side to take whenever a debate ensues on whether the lives of captives on MV Suez should’ve been bought after paying millions of dollars to Somali pirates.

But just yesterday I got a chance to speak to the captain of the released ship, Captain Wasi, in one of our broadcasts. His replies were full of zest and there was no sign of disappointment over the delay in reaching Salalah Port in Oman. That truly was indicative that nothing seemed big enough compared to the terror of death that had loomed over the 22 crew members in their 317 days of captivity. Captain Wasi was quite certain that the ship would reach its destination by Saturday afternoon.

Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened. Dramatic news updates however continue to come in. Sometimes its shortage of fuel and at others it’s how Pakistan’s escorting effort is being disturbed by none other than India, whose own nationals are on the ship and are being provided security by Pakistani commandos.

What were the Indians thinking when INS Godavaari was sent in to harass PNS Babur, the Pakistani ship escorting MV Suez to a safe shore? Smooth sailors Indians are not and they are proving this once again at a time when both countries are to meet in Islamabad for diplomatic talks next week. Released Indian sailors have already spoken to the Indian media about how shocked they are to learn that their government didn’t care if they lived or died. Are Indians feeling jealous that Pakistan is leading this rescue effort?

However, there are some questions that come to mind over how Pakistan is handling this situation. Wouldn’t it have been safer and quicker to airlift the crew from that ship to dry land? Ansar Burney as a matter of fact did ask for this facility. It also appears the rescue effort was done in haste – the ship’s technical condition and its fuel needs weren’t given any consideration and so MV Suez continues a precarious sail towards Oman.

I just want to believe Captain Wasi’s tone on the phone. He seemed positive that the worst was over.
Waqas Rafique An Islamabad based journalist who was a former employee of Express News. He tweets @waqasrafique (
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