The capsize of a crowded boat off the coast of Greece, which killed more than 300 Pakistani nationals, was the most recent tragedy to highlight the refugee issue facing the European Union (EU).
According to CNN, Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, the leader of Pakistan’s Senate, revealed that the victims were among the tens of thousands who sought refuge from conflict, persecution, and poverty.
Given that it is well known that Pakistan is experiencing its greatest economic crisis in decades, Greek authorities have not yet confirmed the death toll there.
A national day of mourning for those who lost their lives in the boat’s sinking was declared on Monday by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif as a result of the rising number of Pakistanis taking perilous ways to Europe in pursuit of a better future, according to CNN.
He commanded a “high-level inquiry” into the event in a tweet.
“I reassure the people that anyone found to have neglected their obligations will face consequences. Once the investigation, blame will be determined, and people will be held accountable, Sharif stated.
According to the UN Migration Agency (IOM), there were over 750 men, women, and children on the boat when it collapsed last week, killing hundreds and making the catastrophe one of the deadliest in the Mediterranean Sea, according to EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson.
The tragedy has brought attention to the EU’s refugee problem, in which tens of thousands of refugees attempt perilous journeys to Europe each year as they flee war, persecution, poverty, and climate change. Johansson denounced the function of the “smugglers” who loaded passengers onto the boats.
They are not being sent to Europe; rather, they are being sent to their deaths. They are doing this, and it must be stopped immediately, she stated.