The Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal on Sunday said a total of 33 Pakistanis were on board a ship that sank near Libya last week, according to a rescued Pakistani eyewitness.
He said a family of four was also on board the boat, of which the bodies of the husband and wife have been recovered while their two children, aged four years and two months, respectively, are still missing.
The spokesperson said 13 bodies of Pakistani nationals, identified with the help of their passports and the rescued eyewitness, have been recovered.
“The event took place on the night of January 31,” according to the survivor who came in contact with the Pakistani Embassy in Libya.
The survivor informed the Pakistani mission “that he, along with 32 other Pakistanis were brought to the boat that was waiting in the deep sea off the coast of Zuwarah.”
He said the boat, which was in a bad shape, was supposed to transport the illegal migrants to Europe. The survivor was rescued by a fisherman, Faisal added.
The recovered bodies have been preserved and will be sent to Pakistan in a process which could take up to seven days, the spokesperson added.
The FO had, on Saturday, said 16 Pakistanis were among around 90 people on board a smuggler’s boat which capsized near Libyan coast earlier this week.