Pakistan to observe day of mourning tomorrow over Greece boat tragedy

  • PM Shehbaz forms 4-member inquiry committee to ascertain facts of the tragedy
Published June 18, 2023

Pakistan will observe a day of mourning on Monday (tomorrow) to express solidarity with the families of the Pakistani nationals who drowned in a migrant boat shipwreck off Greece on Wednesday, Aaj News reported.

“Expressing his grief over the tragic incident of the boat carrying migrants capsized off the coast of Greece resulting in the deaths of dozens of people, including Pakistanis, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has announced to observe a day of mourning tomorrow,” said a statement issued by the Prime Minister Office’s media wing.

It said that the national flag will fly at half mast at all the important buildings.

The premier also formed a four-member committee to ascertain the facts of the recent Greece boat tragedy and directed law enforcement agencies (LEAs) to trace those involved in human smuggling.

Earlier, Pakistan authorities arrested 10 alleged human traffickers soon after PM Shehbaz ordered an immediate crackdown on agents engaged in people smuggling, saying they would be “severely punished”.

Officials said nine people had been detained in Azad Jammu and Kashmir – home to a majority of the victims – and one in Gujrat, a city that has long served as a springboard for migrants.

“They are presently under investigation for their involvement in facilitating the entire process,” said Chaudhary Shaukat, a local official from Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

At least 78 people were drowned when the ill-fated boat with reportedly 400 to 750 people onboard sank in the Mediterranean Sea near the Greek coast. Meanwhile, some 104 people were rescued and sent to Kalamata, Greece, as per the latest media reports.

The Foreign Office said on Saturday that 12 Pakistanis had been found alive as National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf urged the government to “immediately investigate” the incident.

In a joint statement, the International Organization for Migration and UN Refugee Agency said between 400 to 750 people were believed to be aboard the ferry.

On Saturday, Pakistan’s Ministry of foreign affairs said 12 nationals had survived, but they had no information on how many were aboard the boat.

An immigration official told AFP on condition of anonymity that the figure could surpass 200.

“The Prime Minister has given a firm directive to intensify efforts in combating individuals involved in the heinous crime of human trafficking,” his office said in a statement.

Greece boat crash: FO releases list of rescued Pakistani people

A combination of political turmoil and an economy on the brink of collapse drives tens of thousands of Pakistanis to leave the country – legally and illegally.

Young men, primarily from eastern Punjab and northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, often use a route through Iran, Libya, Turkiye, and Greece to unlawfully enter Europe.


Comments are closed.

Abdullah Jun 18, 2023 03:45pm
Why arrest them.These guys knew they were going to be illegals.There parents gave 23 Lac to send them there.what are they crying for.Either dont do it or there will always be consequences and be ready for it. They chose this way and didnt get sucesfull in it.Thats it.
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Maqbool Jun 18, 2023 03:48pm
Why does it take a Prime Minister of Pakistan to tell government employees to do the job they’re paid to do ?
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Johnny Walker Jun 18, 2023 04:03pm
10 traffickers arrested. Wow. More money to be made by arresters. Now, how about arresting the head honchos who control these alleged traffickers? They normally roam around in big convoys with protocol.
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Abdul Sheikh Jun 18, 2023 04:25pm
Government wants them to take that way. Poor lost lives and government lost futures dollars.
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Arshad Jun 18, 2023 04:31pm
FIA is equally responsible. But the point is who will question and take action against the FIA where even the lowest rank officer is politically connected.
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Nair Jun 18, 2023 04:56pm
واہ کیا بات ھے پہلے سوئے ھوئے تھے اتنا عرصہ جب وہ کام کر رھے تھے یا اب خانہ پُری کے لئے کسی کو بھی پکڑ لیا۔ لعنت بے شمار !!! جب کُتا پیاسا مرنے پر خلیفہ جوابدہ ھے تو اس پر 10-12 صاحب اقتدار و اختیار کی گردنیں پھانسی کے پھندے میں ھونی چاہئیں
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Khawar Nehal Jun 18, 2023 05:35pm
@Abdullah, “The Prime Minister has given a firm directive to intensify efforts in combating individuals involved in the heinous crime of human trafficking,” his office said in a statement. Arresting the people taking the money. Not those giving the money.
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Dilawez Shehnaz Jun 18, 2023 05:42pm
Why do not we lodge FIR against the government for the poor economy which compelling people to leave their motherland and risk their lives?
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Haq Jun 18, 2023 06:52pm
Human trafficking is an int'l business (like smuggling, drugs, money laundering, etc), can't be done without involvement of govt high-ups & foreign support....!
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Ash Chak Jun 18, 2023 07:11pm
If Shahbaz Sharif was serious, he would have arrested himself and every single politician and other elites who have created the conditions, forcing these poor people to leave the country.
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KU Jun 18, 2023 09:17pm
When Pakistanis know that they don't have a future in their own country, they have little choice. Even if they start a small business, there is no law or security to protect them. By the way, many years ago around hundred kidnapped children were being taken to Karachi and rescued by chance, was anyone caught?
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Amir Jun 18, 2023 10:55pm
How about observing a WEEK of mourning for what Pakistan has been made into today?
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Amir Jun 18, 2023 10:56pm
@Maqbool , This is how Pakistan operates, unfortunately! Nobody is prepared to fulfill the responsibility he is paid to fulfill!!
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Tulukan Mairandi Jun 18, 2023 11:13pm
Simple fact: People were fleeing hunger, persecution, looming default and break up.
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Awami Jun 18, 2023 11:31pm
@Abdul Sheikh, It is very rude way to express such attitude to affected families.
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Junaid khan Jun 19, 2023 12:12am
Is there a day of mourning for immigrants who were going to Greece illegally?
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Ash Chak Jun 19, 2023 05:56am
@Abdullah, I am shocked at your insensitivity. These victims were part of the lower income strata of Pakistan who saw no future for themselves in the land of their birth. Did they not know about the peril involved? Of course they did.Did they have choice? No. Rather than blaming these people, blame the people who created the conditions forcing their departure. And I bet you know who they are. By the way, 10 of the agents were from AJK. What kind of message is Pakistan sending to the residents of IOK?
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