The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that 12 Pakistanis are among the survivors of the tragic incident where an overloaded fishing boat capsized off the coast of Peloponnese in southern Greece. The boat sank on Wednesday, resulting in the loss of at least 78 lives, while 104 individuals were found alive by Friday. Reports suggest that the ill-fated boat carried between 400 to 750 people.
According to Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, the exact number and identities of the Pakistani nationals among the deceased are yet to be verified. The Pakistan Mission in Greece is actively coordinating with local authorities to identify and assist Pakistani nationals among the survivors and recover the bodies of those who lost their lives.
Emergency contact numbers have been provided for immediate assistance. Additionally, the spokesperson stated that the process of identifying the recovered bodies will involve DNA matching with close family members, specifically parents and children. Families of potential passengers on the boat are urged to contact Pakistan’s mission in Greece using the provided helpline numbers for verification purposes, along with sharing DNA reports from accredited laboratories and relevant passenger identity documents.
— Pakistan Embassy Greece (@PakinGreece) June 16, 2023
Greek officials have stated that the majority of individuals on board the boat were from Egypt, Syria, and Pakistan, excluding India. Meanwhile, heart-wrenching accounts from families of the missing paint a harrowing picture of their loved ones’ journey and the circumstances leading to the tragedy. Concerns have also been raised regarding the response of the Greek coastguard, with questions arising about their intervention and potential missed opportunities for assistance.
The incident highlights the urgency of addressing the ongoing challenges surrounding irregular migration and the need for coordinated efforts to prevent such tragedies in the future.