Wednesday Feb 14, 2018
ISLAMABAD: The bodies of 11 Pakistanis, who drowned in a shipwreck off Libyan coast on January 31, reached Pakistan on Wednesday.
The bodies of the deceased were shifted to Islamabad through a private airline from Jeddah.
The deceased have been identified as Ikram-ul-Haq, Tanzeel-ur-Rehman, Azmat Bibi, Waleed Ikram, Farhan Ali, Mohammad Qasim Baig, Mohammad Aziz, Kashif Jamil, Mirza Ghulam Farid, Mazhar Hussain.
On Feb 9, the Foreign Office had said that it planned to bring back the bodies of the Pakistanis who drowned when a boat carrying migrants capsized off the coast of Zuwara.
Earlier, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had apprehended the central character of a human smuggling network that facilitated illegal transportation of Pakistani nationals.
The prime suspect, Mehboob Shah, was apprehended along with an accomplice, Mudassir, during a raid in Gujrat, said Mufakhir Adeel, deputy director of the FIA.
An embassy official earlier said the victims were mostly from Gujrat in central Pakistan.
Libya is the main gateway for migrants trying to cross to Europe by sea, though numbers have dropped sharply since July as Libyan factions and authorities - under pressure from Italy and the European Union - have begun to block departures.
Zuwara was a top departure point until a local backlash against smuggling in 2015.