Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Nine months on: Gwadar fishermen still in Somali captivity

Occupied Balochistan,GWADAR: The authorities couldn’t care less, complained families of the 11 fishermen from Gwadar, who were kidnapped eight months ago by Somali pirates when their boat drifted into the open sea.Expressing disappointment on Tuesday at the government’s indifference to their plight, relatives of the kidnapped fishermen termed the administration and society “lethargic”.
The fishermen, who were captured by Somali pirates, along with their launch back in February, include Ibrahim, Rahim Bakhsh, Tahir, Saleh Muhammad, Qadir Bakhsh, Younus Muhammad Ali, Khuda Bakhsh, Rafiq and Hanif.

Initially, the victims were in contact with their families through satellite phones. They informed their relatives that the pirates were demanding money for their release. However, it’s been months now since the families last heard from them.
The families said they have held two meetings with their MPA and provincial Minister for Fisheries Hammal Kalmti to seek his help, but no steps had been taken by him so far. They added that whenever they call him now, they are told he is either in Islamabad or in London.
Owner of the ill-fated fishing boat Khuda Baksh told that they had also contacted human rights activist Ansar Burney in this regard, but he too had not paid any heed to the matter.
The families who are worried sick about the health and safety of their loved ones urged the media to bring their predicament to the forefront in hopes of moving the government to fulfill its responsibilities.