Insight: Pakistani death squads spur desperate voyage to Australia

Hazara Asylum Seekers

By Matthew Bigg, Matthew Green and James Grubel

QUETTA, Pakistan/PUNCAK,Indonesia | Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:30pm EDT

(Reuters) – It was 3 a.m. when Abid Warasi and his friend clambered into an Indonesian fishing boat, joining 300 other migrants packed into the hold. Only a few days away by sea, Australia seemed tantalizingly close.

Six hours into the voyage, the craft overturned. The two teenagers clung to the upturned hull. One by one, survivors lost purchase and drifted away, their dreams swallowed by the warm waters of the Java Sea.

“When the boat capsized, the dead bodies came floating above the water,” Warasi said, recounting his ordeal in the Indonesian hill town of Puncak, just south of Jakarta. “Our hearts were so sad for them and we were waiting for our own time when we would die.”

The heroism that would ensure the pair survived 48 hours in the water…

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