Leading human rights activist Ansar Burney today said he had established contact with Somali pirates who hijacked the cargo vessel MV Suez with a 24-member crew, including four Pakistanis and six Indians, and was working for their release.
"I am working hard for the safe recovery and release of the crew members who were kidnapped by Somali pirates and have been detained in critical circumstances for over six months," Burney said.
He said he was able to establish contact on phone with the pirates who hijacked the ship in the Gulf of Aden last night.
The ship's crew includes four Pakistanis, six Indians, four Sri Lankans and 11 Egyptians and the vessel is currently in Somalia, he said.
The pirates had initially warned that they would shoot the crew if they were not paid a ransom of $200 million.
"I am negotiating with the pirates to save the precious lives," Burney said.
The Panama-flagged vessel was captured by the pirates on August 2 last year.