In a tragic boat disaster that occurred last month, Greek authorities have confirmed the unfortunate demise of 15 Pakistanis. Through meticulous fingerprint matching and DNA analysis, the identities of the victims have been established, as reported by The News on Friday.
Autopsies and DNA Analysis Conducted by Greek Authorities
During a weekly media briefing held on Thursday, a spokesperson for the Foreign Office announced that Greek authorities have successfully conducted autopsies on all 78 recovered bodies. DNA samples have also been obtained and analyzed to aid in the identification process.
The DNA reports received primarily consisted of samples from individuals who feared that their loved ones might have been on the ill-fated boat. However, it is important to note that these reports alone do not confirm their presence on the vessel. Due to the dynamic nature of this ongoing process, the exact number of DNA samples shared with Greek authorities is currently unavailable. Rest assured, we will provide this information to the media separately.
Judicial Inquiry Initiated by the Greek Government
Pakistan has taken prompt action by raising concerns regarding the disaster with the Greek government. In response, the Greek authorities have initiated a judicial inquiry into the matter. The survivors of the incident have been interviewed to gather vital information about the circumstances surrounding the ferry disaster. Our communication with Greek authorities will remain constant, and as soon as the inquiry details are released, we will be able to provide further information.
Hostile Statements by Indian Officials and Political Personalities
Addressing inquiries regarding hostile statements made by senior Indian politicians, the spokesperson stated that it appeared there were officials and political figures in India who held an unhealthy obsession with Pakistan. These statements should be viewed in light of this obsession. Pakistan has consistently emphasized that terrorism should not be exploited for diplomatic point-scoring or as a reason to avoid engaging with neighboring countries.
Pakistan has legitimate concerns regarding India’s involvement in terrorist activities within our territory. We have shared credible evidence supporting these concerns. It is crucial for India to prioritize regional cooperation over belligerent posturing and hegemonic ambitions. The antagonistic statements and hostile gestures from India only serve to hinder progress in the region.
Denouncing Anti-Pakistan Remarks by the Indian Defense Minister
The spokesperson strongly condemned the anti-Pakistan remarks made by the Indian defense minister, considering them deplorable. Pakistan categorically rejects all the false assertions put forward by the Indian defense minister. It is important to highlight that the ground realities in the Indian illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) are significantly different from the picture painted by the Indian defense minister.
While Azad Jammu and Kashmir remains peaceful and accessible to the world, with the local population enjoying civil and political rights, India has transformed IIOJK into a vast open prison. The egregious human rights violations committed by India in IIOJK have been extensively documented by the UN Human Rights machinery, international media, and human rights organizations. IIOJK stands as one of the most heavily militarized zones globally, which is an undeniable fact.
Indian Supreme Court’s Decision on the Unilateral Action in IIOJK
When questioned about the decision of the Indian Supreme Court to form a five-member bench to address the unilateral decision made on August 15, 2019, regarding IIOJK, the spokesperson emphasized that Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally-recognized disputed territory. The final resolution of this dispute should be in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions and the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.
Pakistan has consistently refused to acknowledge India’s occupation of Kashmir. Therefore, Article 370 or any provision of the Indian constitution that perpetuates India’s illegal occupation has never been accepted by Pakistan. Our concern in 2019, which remains valid today, revolves around India’s unilateral and illegal measures in IIOJK, aimed at disempowering the Kashmiri people in their own land. Pakistan firmly asserts that these measures are unacceptable and must be revoked to establish an environment conducive to peace and dialogue.
In conclusion, the confirmation of 15 Pakistani fatalities in the recent boat disaster by Greek authorities is a tragic incident. Pakistan continues to address this issue with the Greek government and remains committed to seeking justice for the victims. Furthermore, Pakistan urges India to prioritize regional cooperation over hostility, and to revoke its unilateral actions in IIOJK for the sake of peace and stability in the region.