KARACHI  - Minister for Ports and Shipping, Babar Khan Ghauri has vowed to shore up those Pakistani seamen who, according to a private TV channel, have been detained on a foreign vessel anchored at an Indian port for the last four months.

“We are in talks with the Indian authorities and hopefully Pakistani sailors will be pulled through before long,” Ghauri said while talking to a private TV channel. Ghauri said he had directed the Director General Ports and Shipping to jump into action. “We have also contacted the family members of the mariners under ship-arrest and assured them of all-out help,” he said.

Reports have it that Indian authorities had seized a ship owned by a Bangladeshi national after it defaulted on port payments last year.

The seafaring vessel had berthed at Visakhapatnam Port, which is the only major port of Andhra Pradesh, on November 4, 2012, where it remains tied up to date. According to the second officer of the vessel, all the crew has been confined to the ship for the last four months.

“We are not allowed to go on shore. On top of having to put up with inhuman living conditions, scarcity of food supplies, and shortage of water on board, the seamen were also not paid for the past half-a-year”, he said.

The officer also revealed that they have only been consuming a dish of rice and pulses since the seizure of their ship. “Stomaching the same food over and over again is sickening the crew members,” the second officer added.

It is pertinent to mention that there are five Pakistanis among the crew. Three of the five seamen are the residents Karachi.

NEED FOR CAREER COUNSELLING STRESSED: Sindh Youth Affairs Minister Faisal Ali Subzwari stressed that there is a need for provision of career counseling at the academic institutions. He was speaking as chief guest at a seminar on career counseling here on Wednesday.

The day-long moot was organised at a local hotel by the Sindh Department of Youth Affairs in collaboration with the Capacity Builders.

The minister said that the career counseling was available all over the world. However, in Pakistan this facility is not available to a majority of the youngsters. Subzwari pointed out that career counseling for the students in Sindh has been initiated in collaboration with the Habib University and the Institute of Business Administration (IBA).

He said that recommendation would be made for allocation of funds for career counseling in the next fiscal year’s budget. He also stressed the need of inclusion of career counselling in the curriculum.

Secretary Sindh Department of Youth Affairs, Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui, Prof Dr Shahid Qureshi, Zeeshan Gilani, Shireen Naqvi, Amin Saleem and Altaf Khan also spoke on the occasion.