Illegal migrants

Desperate youth risking life




All 31 of them onboard a refrigerated container hailed from Pakistan. Even the truck driver was a Pakistani. They were held during a routine check up on the motorway by the French authorities near the Italian border. Among the migrants there were three teenagers as well.

The episode came just days after 39 people mostly from East Asia were found dead in a container in the United Kingdom. The last messages from a migrant to her family were harrowing and tell the sordid tale of people from the poor economies risking their lives to get to the land of their dreams.

Either they do not have sufficient means to take the legal route to immigration, or they are duped by the human trafficking rackets into taking these illegal routes. Europe for obvious reasons is the destination of choice for such vulnerable youth. Migrant issue is one major plank of all political parties and in Europe and North America and elections are won and lost on this one issue. Most of the European countries have lately strengthened their laws around migrations and increased their watch over their boundaries.

Pakistanis mostly are found to crossing into Greece through Iran or Turkey to get to the farther greener pastures. Thousands of them are deported every few months. According to statistics available on media, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates Oman are other countries that have deported thousands of Pakistani youth over the last six years. The total number of deportees since 2014 is in excess of half a million.

With the PTI government in power for well over a year, and going by their manifesto, by now people should have been lining outside our embassies  in the world capitals to come to Pakistan for tourism as well as jobs but here it is the exact opposite of this. Not only are people looking elsewhere for jobs, they are risking their life and limb to get out of the country. This episode serves as a grim reminder of worsening economy and desperation of people who do not find any avenue to engage in.