Karachi: Crew members of an Egyptian merchant vessel mamed MV Suez with six Indians on  board will reach here before being sent back to their respective countries, Pakistani human rights activist Ansar Burney said on Monday.

Burney, who has played a pivotal role in securing the release of 22 crew members, hoped the return of the Indian sailors would be a "gift" to India.

Besides six Indians, there are five Pakistanis and a Sri Lankan among the crew, which was transferred to Pakistani warship PNS Babar after the vessel started sinking.

"I hope this will be a good gift to India from my side. I love you all Indians, I love you all Pakistanis," Burney said.

"When they will reach here, from the next flight I will send them back to their respective countries," he told a news channel.

MV Suez was on its way to the Omani port of Salalah when it ran out of fuel and began taking on water in stormy weather. On getting a call for assistance, Pakistan Navy chief Admiral Noman Bashir ordered the vessel's crew to be shifted to the frigate PNS Babar, which was escorting it.

Burney played a crucial role in arranging for ransom and negotiating with the Somali pirates who held the ship for 10 months.

(Agencies)