Somali pirates release Pakistani hostages

Published: June 14, 2011
Families of Merchant Navy Officers kidnapped by Somalian pirates called on Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan. PHOTO: APP/FILE

Families of Merchant Navy Officers kidnapped by Somalian pirates called on Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan. PHOTO: APP/FILE


Somali pirates on Monday released four Pakistanis and 18 others they were holding hostage following negotiations lasting months.

The 22 captives have been released after the pirates were paid $2.1 million in ransom, which was collected in collaboration by the Ansar Burney Welfare Trust (ABWT), the Sindh government and the shipping company that owned the hijacked ship.

“Ransom money was dropped from an aeroplane at Punt Land in Somalia, which the pirates’ sources had specified.

The pirates started freeing hostages at 5pm GMT (10pm PST),” ABWT chairperson Ansar Burney said.

According to reports, the operation was monitored from the Suez Canal and a chartered plane was sent to Somalia to bring the released hostages back.

Apart from four Pakistanis, captives include six Indians, one Sri Lankan and 11 Egyptians. “As soon as all hostages are released, they will be shifted to the port so that they can be taken to the nearest airport for their return to their home countries,” Burney said.

During the mission, Burney travelled twice to Somalia, four times to Egypt and once each to India, Yemen and Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, a brief ceremony was held at the Governor House in Karachi where families of the released hostages were also present.

“The ordeal had become a national issue for Pakistan. I congratulate the nation on this occasion,” said Sindh Governor Ishratul Ibad Khan.

In his address, Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain thanked all philanthropists who helped raise the ransom amount. He also thanked President Zardari and ISI Chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha for the special services they rendered for the mission.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 14th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (48)

  • Jun 13, 2011 - 6:28PM

    I appreciate Ansaar Barni’s and Governor’s efforts.Recommend

  • Tamo0r
    Jun 13, 2011 - 6:38PM

    Thanks Ansar Burney & all pakistanis whose participate a huge charity funds..Recommend

  • Yasir Hasan
    Jun 13, 2011 - 6:43PM

    Great job Ansar Barni.Recommend

  • Tariq
    Jun 13, 2011 - 6:55PM

    This is indeed good news among a plethora of bad news. Well done.Recommend

  • fantome
    Jun 13, 2011 - 7:10PM

    finally.. a good news :)Recommend

  • Muhammad Kashif
    Jun 13, 2011 - 7:17PM

    Ansar Barni , Governor Sindh, Aqeel Karim Dedhi have taken new heights of honour in Humanity Chapters to be written in years to come.

    A breath of fresh air in Pakistan.Recommend

  • SK
    Jun 13, 2011 - 7:22PM

    Thanks Allah for safe release of all and thanks to all involved for making efforts.
    Congrats to affected families.Recommend

  • Observer from London
    Jun 13, 2011 - 8:11PM

    I am pleased that the hostages have been released.
    How come MQM got involved and which channels were used to deliver money and how come a political party had clout on the kidnappers.
    Why did not the government get involved as its job was to safeguard the citiziens of the country.
    May be Mr Ansar Burney could explain this.Recommend

  • Usman
    Jun 13, 2011 - 8:11PM

    Brace yourselves for the kidnapping season. 2.1 Million! Other pirates will be licking their lips.Recommend

  • Cronous
    Jun 13, 2011 - 8:14PM

    Obviously it is a good thing that the hostages were released, however, that is only because the ransom was paid. Why are people rejoicing at the fact that this politician did a great thing? He just gave into blackmail.Recommend

  • Jun 13, 2011 - 9:37PM

    Thanks to Ansar Burney, Governor Sindh and the MQM for not only standing with these families but bringing the hostages back home. I am really glad to see their contribution.Recommend

  • Capt. Ali
    Jun 13, 2011 - 10:00PM

    Where are all the indians now?? any word of appreciation? because your people dint pay a penny for the release of your indian brethren, remember the release of your men was made possible by the money of the people of Pakistan, not its government or the US-AID. Recommend

  • Thinking
    Jun 13, 2011 - 10:07PM

    Why negotiate with terrorists? This sets a bad example. Now they know they can get away with it again.

    Why is Pakistan always giving in to the bad guys? When will the good guys stand up for what is right and win?Recommend

  • Zaki Khalid
    Jun 13, 2011 - 10:09PM

    Ansar Burney also thanked DG ISI Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha for his “special efforts in getting the captives released before it got late”. And as always, ET will never cover this. For confirmation, you can contact the Ansar Burney Trust.Recommend

  • Ali
    Jun 13, 2011 - 11:49PM

    @Observer from London

    They helped collect the Amount for paying the RansomRecommend

  • xohaib
    Jun 14, 2011 - 12:04AM

    May Allah give health n wealth to Ansar barni , he is no doubt a great man. My prayers with him.Recommend

  • Shabbir Baloch
    Jun 14, 2011 - 12:20AM

    Among the released captives also include six Indians, 11 Egyptians and one Sri Lankan. Ansar Burney and the relatives of captives also praised Pakistan Army’s role ( financially). Indians should thank Pakistan for this big favour, Last week a senior Indian MP refused to make any contribution at crucial time after promising to help.Recommend

  • Syed A. Mateen
    Jun 14, 2011 - 12:23AM

    Well done Dr. Ishratul Ebad Khan, Governor of Sindh and Mr. Ansar Burney, Chairman Ansar Burney Trust.

    You two deserve Presidential Pride of Performance Awards for getting the Pakistani hostages released from Somali pirates.

    Keep on doing the good work. May Al-Mighty Allah be with you. Ameen. Recommend

  • Watchman
    Jun 14, 2011 - 12:30AM

    Did we also pay ransom money for the indians and bengalis and egyptians? :OORecommend

  • Anwar
    Jun 14, 2011 - 1:29AM

    I wait for the next hostage taking….Recommend

  • Tehzeeb Ul Hasan
    Jun 14, 2011 - 3:27AM

    Superb effort by Ansaar Barni’s and Governor’s Sindh.Recommend

  • Sohail Butt
    Jun 14, 2011 - 4:28AM

    Pirates want total package not just for PAKISTANI so we have to pay them and realsed all of them together ,It is the job of government which done by ansar burni ,mqm and ccpo karachi and mukhayar people of pakistan.GOOD JOB MQMRecommend

  • Ihk
    Jun 14, 2011 - 9:30AM

    The bottom line is: NOBODY GOT KILLED.Recommend

  • NaK
    Jun 14, 2011 - 9:43AM

    Welldone, Keep ALLAH always bless you (AMIN)Recommend

    Jun 14, 2011 - 10:06AM

    this the cridet of pakistani nation under the shadow of ansar burni, governor of sindh and sevral persons who take part in colection of raansom money—this showing of the unity of pakistan nation——-zara num ho yeh mittee.. ,buri zurkhaze hai saqi——thanks god——–Recommend

  • Illiterate jehadi
    Jun 14, 2011 - 11:00AM

    @Watchman…yes WE paid for the indians too…why arent any indians seen in this post?Recommend

  • uH
    Jun 14, 2011 - 1:21PM

    @Observer from London:
    The second part of your question is the answer to the first.Recommend

  • Jun 14, 2011 - 1:29PM

    Why would the indians post here?? The roar in the world by the indians that we are rising and rising and rising, shame on that money the indians earn for they couldn’t pay their brethren the money to get released. It was again the so-called terrorist minded Pakistanis right? SHAME ON INDIA and freaks who come here writing all crap everyday.Recommend

  • Ravi
    Jun 14, 2011 - 2:15PM

    @Illiterate jehadi:
    Its not india who should pay for the sailors even if they are indians because its the responsibility of the company that operates that particular ship to pay and look after the sailors irrespective of their nationality……..
    India coulds have looked into he matter if the company would have been indian by releasing the money unilaterally and then charging from the company afterwards……..Recommend

  • Pirates of Somali Land
    Jun 14, 2011 - 2:52PM

    An eerie silence from the Indian quarters??? I think we can safely say that in this instance Pakistanis have ‘bigger hearts’ than Indians in helping release their fellow citizens.Recommend

  • MAD
    Jun 14, 2011 - 2:54PM


    we pay to get the indians out and thsi what we get in return. not even a thank you for saving your citizens who were let for dead by your government.Recommend

  • Jamal khan
    Jun 14, 2011 - 3:58PM

    @Ravi: What the … the company had abandoned them and so did you. You left your countrymen to die there in the open sea and now making lame excuses that its the company’s job to protect them. THIS IS WHAT THE TRUE FACE OF INDIA ISRecommend

  • ashok sai
    Jun 14, 2011 - 5:02PM

    Thanks to human rights activist Ansar Burney for saving those lives.Recommend

  • Rikki tikki Indian
    Jun 14, 2011 - 9:22PM

    @ Jamal Khan
    Ravi is wrong. It is the duty of the Indian Government to look after the interests of Indians everywhere even on the high seas. I have read news articles in India thanking Ansar Burney.There should be a joint operation by the Indian and Pakistani Navies against Somali Pirates. If this happens, the world (specially the western world) which sniggers and secretly encourages our two countries rivalry would stand and stare!Recommend

  • indian guy
    Jun 14, 2011 - 11:11PM

    Dear Pakistani friends, thanks a lot for the help rndered by Anser Burney. He has been a legend. Its almost as if he was from India. Thanks anyway.Recommend

  • Jun 15, 2011 - 2:40AM

    At last they come to the right conclusion.Recommend

  • Shehzad
    Jun 15, 2011 - 10:17AM
  • Indian
    Jun 15, 2011 - 10:51AM

    Sir Anser Burney, You have won hearts in india. Long live people like you whereever they are born. They are above politics and more towards humans. Thankyou Pakistan. Recommend

  • tamilan
    Jun 15, 2011 - 8:15PM

    Thanks a lot.We never forget our manners.But your assumptions are wrong.Indians didnt come here there is no india involved in the title.We do thank you but dont boast about it,that degrades the work done by burneyRecommend

  • xohaib
    Jun 15, 2011 - 11:51PM

    Laila is happy Finally, =)Recommend

  • Jun 17, 2011 - 1:40PM

    cheating case…..paymentof randsome by Protection and Indeminty Club [P and I]on behalf of owners is recongnized in International Law.After payment of randsome,the owner/P&I exercise lien over the cargo and claim ‘General Average’ from cargo owners….The question is why P&I club or owner did not come for word for Payment of randsome and why Governament of Pakistan paid?……..This is a cheap publicity of Burney…….This is a Pakistan….?Recommend

  • Jun 18, 2011 - 12:36PM

    Insar burny is the best example of huminityRecommend

  • saeed
    Jun 18, 2011 - 4:43PM

    Usually we see so many comments from indians on any article of terrorist attack or american pakistan issues….almost all comments will be negative trying to take as much advantage as they can to malign pakistanis..but now indians can not even digest one piece of good news coming from pakistan….only 2,3 indian comments and that is also thanking to ansar burney as he has payed 2 millions dollers from his locker in his house..instead it was the huge campaing to collect the funds where i have seen people donating from 100 rupees to lakhs..this why i alwasy say that AFRID was 100 percent correct when he mentioned about the large heartedness of pakistanis and indians..I have seen indian sailor wife MADHU on NDTV bashing indian goverment and praising pakistani efforts for thi issue but nothing coming from the indian civilised…..secular…..PUBLIC….as if they are only happy in propoganda based nes against pakistan or any terrorist attack..Recommend

  • Jun 19, 2011 - 10:19AM

    It is totally against the humanity. Now where is UNO and human rights.Recommend

  • Jun 20, 2011 - 3:12AM

    I wonder where did Altaf Hussain come to play in this news…!!! Recommend

  • Mirza
    Jun 20, 2011 - 9:54AM

    It is a really great news that nobody was hurt or killed. I am proud of Ansar Burni and his team of doing wonders in the most difficult situations. Like Edhi, AB is one of the few great Pakistanis that can never be thanked enough. We owe a lot to these two gentlemen and their associates. I have always given my meager charity money to Edhi withtout any doubt that it would not be used properly. Great job, well done and please let us keep it humanitarin and not make it political. Recommend

  • Indian
    Jun 24, 2011 - 12:44PM

    Thanks a lot for efforts by Ansar Burney and pakistani officials for their good work. Its a great example of humanity. God please bless our pakstani brothers peace and lots of love.Recommend

  • hassan
    Jun 25, 2011 - 3:18AM

    well done Somalia navy , god bless you , i hope they will neva come back our see with out permission , long live Somalia , doesn’t matter what ever you call pirates or navy always v re Somali navy , thanks every one who support our army Recommend

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