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Grateful wives of Indian sailors meet Ibad, Chinoy

September 02, 2012

A group photograph of the families of released Indian crew members of MV Suez with Governor Sindh Dr. Ishratul Ebad. They expressed thanks to him for his efforts to release the ship and crew members from Somalian pirates. APP photo by M. Toheed

KARACHI: Madhu Sharma and Sampa Arya, wives of Indian sailors released by pirates last year, met Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan and Citizen-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) chief Ahmed Chinoy at the Governor’s House here on Saturday to thank them in person for their humanitarian gesture in successfully negotiating the release of their husbands along with other crewmembers of MV Suez cargo ship.

“I have always wanted to come to Pakistan but the trip never materialised until I felt compelled to come here to thank you great folks in person,” said Mrs Sharma, wife of Indian sailor M.V. Sharma.

“My husband is only alive and with me today because of you,” she said before breaking down and becoming unable to carry on as her tears said the rest.

“The spark of love that lit due to the unfortunate hijacking and kidnapping incident at sea will, I am sure spread like wild fire,” said Mrs Arya, wife of Indian sailor Ravendra Gulia, while taking the microphone from her friend.

“Separation is a terrible thing. Our ancestors lost their sleep when we were separated by breaking into two countries. And we the people on either side have inherited that sleeplessness from them.

“I have been able to come to Pakistan only now but I want to come here again and again,” she announced before reading out a poem about the woes of separation.

The two guests presented the governor, the CPLC chief and human rights activist Ansar Burney a gold-plated and framed image of Radha and Krishna. They said that India was like Radha and Pakistan like Krishna.

Mr Chinoy said that both he and Mr Burney were doing all they could during the hijacking of the vessels but there were moments when they thought that they had reached dead ends.

“It was only Governor Dr Ibad’s resolve to carry on that we were able to break down the walls and leap over the hurdles,” he said.

“I know our work will go a long way in bringing Pakistan and India close as everyone here, from the president of Pakistan down to the common citizen of this country felt for their Indian, Sri Lankan and Egyptian brothers in trouble. Please tell your people about our feelings when you go back to your country,” he added.

Mr Burney said that whatever they did in helping to get the hostages released by the Somali pirates was driven by love. “Pakistan and India are indeed two brothers as are the people of both countries,” he remarked.

Well-known playwright Fatima Surayya Bajia, who was present on the occasion, said that she could only think of words such as ‘love’, ‘bravery’ and ‘courage’ to compliment the work carried out by the trio.

“May God keep us presenting with such brave hearts,” she said.

To the two guests, she said, “The strides the two of you took while crossing the Wagah border to reach here, is a very big step.”

Dr Ibad thanked the guests for the gift they brought and for coming all the way to Karachi to meet him and the people of Pakistan.

“It’s a great gesture on you part. I welcome both my esteemed guests and send a message of love to those who couldn’t be here with us today.”