Gaza attack: Three Pakistanis safe, detained in Israel

Last Updated: Tue, Jun 01, 2010 10:00 hrs

The US and Interpol have assured Pakistan that three of its nationals on board a peace flotilla carrying aid for the Gaza Strip were safe and detained in Israel after the Israeli Navy attack, in which 10 activists were killed.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Tuesday the assurance came from US special representative on Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke during a telephonic talk.

Qureshi said that the issue was discussed with Holbrooke, who assured him 'that all three Pakistanis are safe and sound and there is no threat to their lives' and that they would be sent home soon, Online news agency reported.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik separately said that the Interpol was making 'personal efforts' for the release of the three Pakistanis - journalists Talat Hussain and Raza Mehmood Agha of the Aaj TV channel and aid worker Nadeem Ahmed Khan of the Khubaib Foundation - who are currently detained in Israel.

'The process of identification and confirmation of passport details has been completed and efforts are underway to bring them home,' he told reporters here.

Malik said President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani are taking personal interest in the return of the trio and the issues was being discussed with the US envoy in Pakistan and the Pakistani ambassador in US.

Pakistan has also taken up the issue with the UN, with its permanent envoy Amjad Basial requesting the Security Council to ensure the safe return of the three Pakistanis.