ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday strongly condemned the hijacking of the UAE-flagged cargo vessel Rawabi by the Houthis near the port city of Hodeidah, Yemen.

Such blatant acts not only threaten the freedom of maritime navigation but also endanger international trade and security of the region, the Foreign Office spokesperson said in a statement.

Expressing Pakistan’s solidarity with the United Arab Emirates, the spokesperson called for the immediate release of the vessel and its crew.

According to the UAE media, the ship had 11 crew on board from five countries, including seven Indian sailors and one each from Ethiopia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Myanmar.

The ship was on its way from Socotra Island in Yemen to the port of Jazan in Saudi Arabia, carrying equipment leased by a Saudi company used in a field hospital on the island.

Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2022

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