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Sunday, March 03, 2024  
21 Shaban 1445  

Pakistani man who lived in Germany for 15 years among the missing in boat tragedy

Tahir was deported recently but wanted to go back to secure better life for children
Mohammad Tahir undertook perilous boat journey after he was deported from Germany following  15 years of stay.
Mohammad Tahir undertook perilous boat journey after he was deported from Germany following 15 years of stay.

Among the at least 209 Pakistanis missing after the Greece boat tragedy is Mohammad Tarhir, 42, who first traveled illegally from Pakistani to Germany 15 years ago. He was deported to Pakistan recently and was returning to Europe to guarantee his children a better life in the West.

Tahir was accompanied by his brother Qaiser on the journey. They and around 90 others from the Gujrat district of Punjab, who paid traffickers approximately $7,000 each, are now missing and presumed dead after boarding a doomed vessel in June.

Tahir and his brother Qaisar left their home on April 15, flying from Islamabad airport to Karachi, then Dubai, Egypt, and finally Libya, where they embarked on the ill-fated journey, Tahir’s son Tayyab told Arab News.

The perilous route underscores the dangers faced by those attempting to enter Europe illegally.

Tayyab shared that his father’s decision to pursue illegal migration was driven by the desire to secure a better future for his children.

“It was his mission to take his children there for their better future,” he said

However, Tayyab strongly advised against taking such a risky route, emphasizing the grave dangers involved and the heartache experienced by families who lose their loved ones in the process. He further cautioned that unscrupulous agents intentionally exploit vulnerable individuals.

In the Gujrat district, it is estimated that at least one member from each family lives and works in Europe, sending back remittances. This has inspired confidence among others in the area, who believe that they too can use traffickers to pursue a better life abroad.

Interestingly, Tahir himself had successfully migrated to Germany via a boat around 15 years ago and subsequently facilitated the migration of three of his brothers to the country. While two of them, Faisal and Sheraz, are now legal residents of Italy, Tahir was deported back to Pakistan from Germany in April 2023 due to the absence of valid documents.

The tragic incident involving Tahir and the others serves as a stark reminder of the risks and perils associated with illegal migration attempts. The Pakistani authorities and international organizations continue to grapple with the complex issue of irregular migration, emphasizing the need for safer, legal avenues for individuals seeking to improve their lives abroad.

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