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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Pakistan’s prime minister declares day of mourning for residents who died in migrant boat sinking

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ISLAMABAD — Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday declared a nationwide day of mourning for residents who died when the fishing trawler filled with migrants they had been in sank off the Greek coast.

As many as 750 males, ladies and kids from Syria, Egypt, the Palestinian territories and Pakistan had been on board the vessel, attempting to succeed in kin in Europe. The Greek coast guard has defended its response to the tragedy that left greater than 500 migrants presumed drowned. The vessel sank on Wednesday.

Sharif expressed his grief over the tragedy and mentioned Monday could be noticed as a day of mourning, with the nationwide flag flying at half-staff.

He beforehand mentioned that Pakistan’s embassy in Athens has recognized 12 nationals who had been rescued by the coast guard. There was no official info on what number of Pakistanis had been onboard the vessel, what number of survived or what number of perished.

Greek authorities have been criticized for his or her failure to behave extra rapidly. They are saying the migrants insisted they didn’t want any assist, however non-governmental organizations say they obtained numerous requires assist. The sinking was one of many worst disasters of its form this yr.

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In the meantime, police in Pakistan-administered Kashmir mentioned Sunday they arrested 12 individuals concerned in sending native youths to Libya for the onward journey to Europe.

Senior officer Khalid Chauhan mentioned police picked up the suspects amid a crackdown on human traffickers. Police are interrogating them for his or her alleged roles in luring, trapping and sending locals overseas after extracting enormous quantities of cash from them.

Round 28 individuals from the Koi Ratta space within the district of Kotli have gone to Libya for onward journey to Europe, police mentioned. Native official Chaudhry Haq Nawaz mentioned there was nonetheless no affirmation on what number of younger males from the realm had been onboard the ill-fated boat, or what number of are among the many {dead} or lacking.

He mentioned efforts are underway to gather kin’ DNA and the check outcomes shall be despatched to Greece to assist determine victims.

Individuals have been providing their assist to kin of these presumed to have been on the boat.

Raja Sakundar, of Bindian village in Kotli, mentioned his 4 nephews aged 18 to 36 stay lacking.

“We had been knowledgeable by the media (of the tragedy). When youngsters should not discovered or die, you may perceive what a mum or dad goes by means of,” he mentioned.

Raja Muhammad Majeed requested the Pakistani authorities to convey again his nephew, Raja Awais.

“If he’s {dead}, convey again (the) physique,” he mentioned. “Once we bury him right here, his mom, sisters and others can go to his grave and provide prayers. We shall be affected person.”

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