ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday ordered an inquiry into the tragic incident of the boat that capsized off the coast of Greece and directed an immediate crackdown on agents involved in the heinous crime of human trafficking.

Taking strong notice of the incident, the PM ordered the relevant authorities to conduct inquiry into the deplorable boat-capsizing incident, as the national flag will fly at half-mast today (Monday) as a mark of mourning while special prayers will be offered for the deceased, according to a statement of the PM Office.

Reiterating his commitment to tighten the noose around the elements involved in the human trafficking, the Prime Minister directed the law enforcement agencies to take immediate crackdown on agents involved in heinous crimes of human trafficking and punish them severely.

FO says 12 Pakistanis identified among survivors in Greece boat disaster

Expressing deep sorrow over the death of Pakistanis in the tragic incident, he directed the Pakistani Embassy in Greece to take care of the 12 Pakistanis, who were rescued after the incident.

On the directives of the Prime Minister, FIA appointed DIG Alam Shinwari as the focal person for the information and facilitation of those killed and injured in the incident.

The prime minister also constituted a four-member high-level committee to investigate the incident. Director General of the National Police Bureau Ehsan Sadiq was appointed as the chairman of the committee. Additional Secretary (Africa) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Javed Ahmed Imran, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK’s) Poonch region DIG Sardar Zaheer Ahmed and Interior Ministry’s Joint Secretary (FIA) Faisal Naseer have been appointed as members of the committee.

The committee will collect all the facts about the sinking of the boat in Greece, the aspect of human trafficking and those responsible will also be identified.

The committee will also chalk out proposals for cooperation and collaboration at the international level to stop the illegal human trafficking. Besides, medium and long-term legislation will be drafted on an immediate basis and law will be enacted to impose severe penalties on individuals, companies and agents involved in human trafficking.

The committee will submit the report to the Prime Minister in a week and further action will be taken in the light of the committee’s report.

According to Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, 12 Pakistanis have been identified among survivors of the capsized boat off the coast of Greece.

“At this stage we are unable to verify the number and identity of Pakistani nationals among the deceased. The Pakistan Mission in Greece under the leadership of Ambassador Aamar Aftab remains in contact with the local authorities for identification and recovery of Pakistani nationals among the deceased and providing relief to the survivors,” she said on Saturday.

She said that Pakistan’s Mission in Greece also remains in contact with the Greek authorities in the identification process of the 78 recovered bodies. “This identification process will take place through DNA-matching with close family members (parents and children only),” she said.

“Families of likely passengers onboard the ill-fated boat are requested to contact our Mission in Greece on the 24/7 helpline numbers for verification purposes. They are also requested to share DNA reports from authenticated laboratories and the identity documents of the passenger at [email protected]”, she added.

Meanwhile, the Chief Secretary of Azad Jammu and Kashmir also appointed a focal person to contact the Pakistani embassy and Greek authorities and for the information related to the dead and injured.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Fazeel Siddiqui (Overseas Pakistani) Jun 19, 2023 12:14pm
Some 400 future shameless Overseas Pakistanis drowned at shores of Greece in shame for fleeing Pakistan. Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Defence Minister of Shehbaz Sharif.
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