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Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Pakistan observes day of mourning for citizens who died in Greece shipwreck

The national flag is flying at half-mast, and special prayers are being offered for the deceased of the Greece ship tragedy.

Pakistan is observing a day of mourning today in the backdrop of the deaths of citizens in the ship sinking incident near the coast of Greece on Wednesday.

According to the details, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced on Sunday to observe a mourning day on Monday (today). The national flag is flying at half-mast, and special prayers are being offered for the deceased of the Greece ship tragedy.

In a separate statement, Prime Minister Shehbaz offered condolences to the families of the deceased. “The sympathies of the entire nation are with those who lost loved ones in the tragic incident,” he said.

Furthermore, the PM constituted a four-member high-level committee to probe into the death of dozens of Pakistanis in the Greece boat tragedy.

Read more: Deadly train crash in Greece

The probe committee will collect evidence and facts regarding the people who drowned in the shipwreck to ascertain responsible persons and investigate the human trafficking aspects.

Greece boat tragedy

Wednesday, a fishing trawler packed with migrants sank off the coast of Greece. As many as 750 men, women and children from Syria, Egypt, the Palestinian territories and Pakistan were on board the vessel, trying to reach relatives in Europe.

Distressing reports indicate that over 300 Pakistani individuals are feared dead, with dwindling hopes of finding survivors. According to Greek officials, 27 Pakistanis died after the fishing boat sank, whereas 12 survived the disaster. So far, the Greek authorities said 104 survivors and 78 bodies had been brought ashore.

Greek authorities have been criticised for their failure to act more quickly. They say the migrants insisted they did not need any help, but non-governmental organisations say they received a number of calls for help. The sinking was one of the worst disasters of its kind this year.

Read more: Pakistanis among 59 killed in Italy boat tragedy

With about 500 people missing, new accounts from survivors indicate that women and children were forced to travel in the hold, and that certain nationalities were condemned to the most dangerous part of the trawler, a London-based newspaper reported.

According to leaked testimonies, given to the Greek coastguards, as reported by the Guardian newspaper, Pakistanis were forced below deck, with other nationalities allowed on the top deck, where they had a far greater chance of surviving.