Ansar Burney demands action against Somali pirates

Last Updated: Sunday, July 17, 2011 - 19:01

London: Demanding strong action to check
increasing cases of sea piracy, leading Pakistani rights
activist Ansar Burney, who was instrumental in the release of
Indian and Pakistani crew held by Somali pirates, has appealed
to the international community to initiate coordinated efforts
to end the menace.

Burney, former Federal Minister for Human Rights and
Chairman of the Ansar Burney Trust, said that pirates off the
Somalian coast were capturing hundreds of persons every year
and Pakistani and Indian nationals were the worst sufferers.

Urging the United Nations, US, Europe and Middle-Eastern
countries apart from both Indian and Pakistani authorities to
initiate coordinated efforts, Burney also alleged that some
African countries were supporting the pirates for their own
vested interests, as money worth millions of dollars were
being paid as ransom.

"It is not possible without the support of some of the
countries, governments and terrorists organisations for their
personnel interests," he said, further questioning the sources
from where these pirates were getting weapons for their
activities.

Burney further said that his trust was also working to
ensure speedy release of captives of the Panamese vessel `MV
Iceberg 1`, including those from India and Pakistan, and he
will talk to the owners of the vessel to initiate necessary
steps sooner than later.

The vessel, that was highjacked by the Somali pirates on
March 29 last year, has on board captives from as many as six
countries, including those from India, Pakistan, Yemen, Ghana,
Sudan and Philippines and pirates have demanded a whopping 3.5
million USD for their release.

Notably, the Dubai-based owners of the ship, Azal
Shipping and Cargo, had earlier allegedly refused to come out
for help of the aggrieved families.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, July 17, 2011 - 19:01

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