400 detained Pakistani migrants in Libya are stuck because of a lack of cooperation from the government of Pakistan and the Pakistani Embassy in Libya. Libyan authorities are willing to deport them back but it is very unfortunate and shocking that Pakistani authorities are not showing any willingness to take them back. The latter have doubts about the nationality of the detained migrants. The Embassy in Libya must come forward and play its part immediately to confirm the nationality, and if found Pakistani, they must be brought back home immediately.
It is a sorry state of affairs that the government and relevant authorities are showing reluctance in this matter. Detained from a human traffickers’ warehouse, it is only natural to assume that these 400 people are in very difficult circumstances. Sixty of them are from Bajaur, where local leaders of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have strongly urged the government and PPP’s Chairman, Bilawal Bhutto, to make arrangements to unite these people with their families.
Ideally, the Foreign Office should immediately contact its Libyan counterpart to display seriousness about its citizens. Pakistanis, whether they are inside the country or outside, are the responsibility of the state. Abandoning them on unconfirmed suspicions that they are not Pakistani is very immature on the part of the authorities. Families in Bajaur have been anxiously waiting for their loved ones for the last four months when they were detained.
Being manipulated by human smugglers and not involved in any sort of crime, the case of these 400 individuals is very strong on humanitarian grounds. Only a bit of negotiation and fulfilment of official requirements would be enough to bring them back home safely. The government should come forward to own its people. Embassies are made for the very purpose of facilitating such matters. Pakistani Embassy, Libya must do what is necessary. First of all, the government must pay attention to this issue and start the process of bringing these people back.