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Capsizing of boat between Indonesian Island of Java and Australian external territory of Christmas Island

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Islamabad, June 27, 2012 (PPI-OT): On 21 June, 2012, a boat carrying more than 200 passengers had capsized in the Indian Ocean between the Indonesian Island of Java and the Australian external territory of Christmas Island. An Australian navy patrol boat and three cargo ships have rescued 120 survivors and have taken them to the Christmas Island, located around 1500 kilometres away from the Australian mainland.

According to the Australian Home Affairs Minister, most of the people were male and from Afghanistan. It is highly probable that some Pakistani nationals might have been onboard.

The Australian authorities do not share information of such incidents with diplomatic missions due to very stringent local privacy laws. However, Pakistan High Commission in Canberra has approached relevant Australian authorities to determine the identity of any Pakistani national who might have been onboard.

So far, three Pakistani nationals namely Mr. Muhammad Nabi, Mr. Sadiq Ali and Mr. Mehtab Hussain have been rescued and are in hospital at Chrismas Island, Australia. The survivors who contacted their families in Parachinar- Kurram Agency have claimed that there are Pakistanis who are untraceable.

The Australian authorities have been approached but they have asked for information like date and place of birth, UNHCR registration number, photograph, details of any identification marks, whether any of their other relatives were on the boat and the authorization of their next of kin or the closest relatives to allow sharing of personal information with the Pakistan High Commission in Canberra (Australia).

The relatives of victims are requested to share the information with Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Pakistan High Commission in Australia at the following numbers:-

Mr. Fazal Hakeem, Deputy Director (SEAP-I) Phone No.051-9211659

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad.

Mr. Tasawar Khan, Deputy High Commissioner Phone No.0061-2-62900633

High Commission for Pakistan, Canberra (Australia) Email:parepcanberra@internode.on.net

The relatives of the victims can also contact the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship directly, if they may so desire on their hotline No.1300 724-010 for sharing the required information and checking on the welfare of their relatives.

For more information, contact:
Syed Haider Ali Jafri
Personal Secretary
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Government of Pakistan
Tel: +9251 921 0335 and 9056604

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