400 Pakistani migrants feared dead in Greece boat disaster; declares day of mourning

HY News 19 June, 2023 12:49 pm IST

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Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday announced a high-level investigation to trace the human traffickers behind the Greece boat tragedy that lead to the death of hundreds of citizens in the Mediterranean Sea. As of now, at least 10 sub-agents responsible for human trafficking were arrested from several locations in Pakistan.

The inquiry committee would ascertain facts of the boat tragedy and identify loopholes in the enforcement mechanism that exposed Pakistanis to the “vagaries of human trafficking in this particular case”.

Those who were arrested on Sunday include either “sub-agents” or “agents” of Chaudhry Zulqernain, Talat Kiani, Khalid Mirza, and Sajid Mehmood — major human traffickers.

According to a report by the local English daily, Dawn, at least 400 Pakistani, 200 Egyptians and 150 Syrians, including around two dozen Syrian women and young children, were travelling on the trawler.

In the meantime, Pakistan government declared a National Day of Mourning for citizens who died when a fishing trawler packed with migrants sank off the Greek coast.

The Prime Minister expressed his grief over the tragedy and said Monday would be observed as a day of mourning, with the national flag flying at half-staff. He previously said that Pakistan’s embassy in Athens has identified 12 nationals who were rescued by the coast guard. There was no official information on how many Pakistanis were onboard the vessel, how many survived or how many perished.

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