ISLAMABAD – As over 290 Pakistanis are presumed dead in a shipwreck off the coast of Greece, National Assembly Speaker Raja Parvez Ashraf has urged the government to take tough action against people traffickers.

During a session of the assembly, the chair voiced sadness over the deaths of migrants in the boat disaster, especially those from Pakistan. He urged the authorities should investigate the event since people smuggling was a serious crime.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office said that 12 Pakistanis were recognised among the survivors of the overturned boat off the coast of Greece, but the number and identities of Pakistani nationals among the fatalities have still to be confirmed.

In a press statement, FO spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch stated that the Pakistan Mission in Greece, led by Ambassador Aamar Aftab, was in contact with local authorities to identify and recover Pakistani nationals among the deceased, as well as provide relief to survivors.

“Our Mission is also in contact with Greek authorities regarding the identification of the 78 recovered bodies.” This will be accomplished by DNA matching with close family members (parents and children only),” the representative said.

Families of passengers on the ill-fated boat were asked to contact Pak Mission in Greece through the 24-hour hotline lines for verification. They were also asked to provide DNA tests from accredited labs and the passenger’s identification papers to ‘’.

According to UN Human Rights experts, up to 500 migrants are still missing from a migrant boat that drowned off the coast of Greece. A number of women and children were among those reported missing after the “horrific tragedy” that killed 78 people.

According to foreign media, the fishing boat carrying up to 750 people went down 50 nautical miles off Pylos in southern Greece.

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