According to recent reports, over two dozen Pakistanis are believed to have drowned in a tragic boat accident off the southern coast of Italy. The boat, which was carrying migrants from Turkey, crashed against rocks near the Italian coast. It is said to have carried people from Iran and Afghanistan as well. At least 59 people died in the accident, while 81 survived, with 20 being hospitalized including one person in intensive care.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, expressed his concern and worry over the incident, stating that he had directed the foreign office to gather facts about the incident as soon as possible and inform the nation. The United Nations Missing Migrants Project has recorded over 17,000 deaths and disappearances in the central Mediterranean since 2014, with over 220 deaths or disappearances this year alone.
The incident highlights the dangers that migrants face while attempting to enter Europe by sea, with Italy being one of the primary landing points for migrants. Many seek to travel on to other northern European nations once they reach Italy. Turkey is also a well-known route for human smugglers to smuggle migrants into Europe, with some traveling by road, walking for miles, or enduring being locked in ship containers for days.
The tragic incident once again emphasizes the need for international cooperation to address the root causes of migration and provide safe and legal migration routes for people seeking a better life.