By Adnan Rafique
ISLAMABAD: Chairman of the Senate Committee on Interior Rehman Malik has taken notice of the death of two Pakistani migrants in the tragic incident of boat capsizing in a lake in eastern Turkey. In a statement, the PPP senator summoned details about the incident from Pakistan’s ambassador in Turkey and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) director general in this regard. He said two Pakistanis died in the incident while eleven others got wounded. It is distressing that 23 Pakistanis were among the 71 migrants on board the ill-fated boat, he added. The committee chairman asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make arrangements for safe return of the Pakistani migrants stranded in Turkey. In a statement earlier on Dec 27, the Foreign Office spokesperson had said, “We have learnt with deep sorrow about the tragic incident of a boat capsizing in Lake Van, Bitlis Provincein the east of Turkey, which carried nationals of various countries including Pakistan.” The Pakistan embassy in Turkey and Consulate General in Istanbul are in contact with the local Turkish authorities to seek further information and provide all possible assistance to the Pakistani nationals involved, she said. As per the information shared by the Turkish authorities, a total of 71 individuals of various nationalities were present on the boat when it capsized including 25 from Pakistan. Turkish authorities carried out the search and rescue operation in the aftermath of the accident. Unfortunately, 2 Pakistani nationals lost their lives. “Our Missions in Turkey are in touch with the local authorities to ascertain the identity of the deceased individuals. The families of the deceased will be notified upon confirmation of their identities and all possible assistance will be extended to the bereaved families for repatriation of the remains of their loved ones,” read the statement. Other 23 Pakistani nationals present on the boat have been rescued and are with the local Turkish authorities, it said, adding those in need of medical attention are being treated in local hospitals.