Nine more sailors of the 17 Pakistani crew members stuck on a ship anchored in Egypt’s Suez Canal for over three months returned home on Friday after intervention by the Pakistani embassy in Egypt.
The 17 workers had been stranded abroad for months after the Egyptian government had reportedly confiscated their passports.
In the first week of January, four amongst those stranded had returned to Pakistan after intervention by diplomatic authorities. A few weeks later, three more sailors returned home.
“Nine of us have come back today. One [among the nine]has gone to Abu Dhabi, another has gone to Islamabad,” Mohammad Jameel, one of the sailors who returned home today, told the media after arriving at Karachi airport.
The sailor said that due to ill health the captain of the ship had been transferred to a hospital and will return to Pakistan after he recovers.
“After a long struggle we have reached Pakistan. All the credit goes to Pakistani media and the head of the Pakistani embassy,” Jameel said and regretted that despite efforts to contact the Sindh government, no help was given.
The sailors told the media that the shipping corporation had not paid them their due salaries for all the months that they were stranded on the ship.
The company had also failed to pay the Egyptian government to process their travel documents due to which their passports had been seized, they said.
The workers left Karachi on Aug 8 and reached Kuwait via Dubai. They boarded the ship in Kuwait and sailed to Egypt, where they had been stranded since Oct 14.