Four sailors, out of the 17 Pakistani crew members, stuck on a ship anchored in Egypt’s Suez Canal for the past five months, returned home on Thursday after intervention by diplomatic authorities.
The workers had been stranded abroad for more than five months as the Egyptian government had reportedly confiscated their passports.
Those who returned have been identified as Third Engr Mohammad Umar Ghauri, Tanvir, Mohammad Tariq and Samiullah.
On his return, Ghauri told reporters that he was thankful to the Pakistani embassy in Egypt. The workers expressed their concerns over the issue of their five-month salaries as they still remain deprived of their dues.
The remaining standard workers are expected to return home in the next few days.
The workers left Karachi on Aug 8 and reached Kuwait via Dubai. They boarded the the ship in Kuwait and sailed to Egypt, where they have been stranded since Oct 14.
Earlier, Chief Officer Jameel Jangian, one of those stranded on the ship, had told DawnNews that the shipping corporation, based in Kuwait, has not paid the workers their dues, which amounts to around Rs20 million.
He further claimed the shipping corporation also did not pay the Egyptian government to process their travel documents, which is why it confiscated their passports.
“We are not allowed to disembark the ship and go on the shore for anything,” Jangian said.
Jangian also told Dawn.com that he and his team need support in getting their pending salaries before they are repatriated to help them “survive back home”.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria had told Dawn.com that the government of Pakistan was in close contact with the stranded sailors.
“We have arranged everything that is needed to repatriate [the stranded captain and crew],” he said, adding the ministry is cooperating with the sailors to its fullest in terms of facilitating the repatriation process.
The workers have been stuck in the ship anchored in the sea, away from the seashore, for more than four months now. They are running out of food and other daily need supplies.
courtesy : dawn news