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Kyrgyzstan clash: Return of Pakistani students begins

Interior minister welcomes students at Lahore airport

By News Desk

May 18, 2024 11:51 PM


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The first batch of Pakistani students reached the homeland from Kyrgyzstan safely, 24NewsHD TV channel reported on Saturday.

Federal Interior Minister Syed Mohsin Naqvi received the students at the airport. 

Talking to the media at the airport, the interior minister said that the first and foremost duty of the government was to ensure the safety of the students.

He said the safety and not the education is vital this time. PM Shehbaz Sharif had given the order for special flights to take the students back. Naqvi said instead of getting emotional, the government will di its duty.

The minister interacted with the students and vowed to provide the youth with all-out support.

The students made a litany of complaints against the Pakistan ambassador's non-cooperation. The minister was told that the 'ruthless' behaviour of the envoy hurt the students.

The students contradicted the envoy's video message too, saying the top diplomat lied to the nation over the Kyrgyz situation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glTsOqHkH0k

According to a report, 11,000 Pakistani students were studying in Bishkek. A total of 30 students returned on the first special flight from the Kyrgyz capital.  More students are expected on another special flight on Sunday (today) and CAA claimed that special flights will continue for a week.

Pakistan’s ambassador said that the Kyrgyz authorities claimed local extremists attacked 14 foreign students last night. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif while expressing concerns for the safety of Pakistani youths, decided to send Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar to Bishkek to help the students.

Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Engineer Amir Muqam will accompany the deputy prime minister.

PM Shehbaz issued directives to take back free the students who wanted to return. Shehbaz Sharif has directed the Civil Aviation Authority to start a special flight to bring back all students.

The prime minister assured the students and their families that the government would not leave the students alone in this difficult time and would maintain constant contact between the students and their parents through the embassy.

Pakistan Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Hasan Zaigham said one Pak student among 14 foreigners sustained injuries as they came under an attack by local extremists last night.

Earlier, the government contacted the Kyrgyz government and demanded the safety of Pakistan students and demanded strict action against the culprits.

Kyrgyz police said they had mobilised forces in the Central Asian nation’s capital yesterday to quell the violence, in which hundreds of Kyrgyz men attacked buildings which were housing foreign students, including Pakistanis.

Locals attack international students after a video of a fight with Egyptians goes viral on social media and Kyrgyz media outlet describes violence as “protest against foreigners”.

Kyrgyz deputy PM met the Pakistan ambassador and assured that the situation was under control. According to Pakistan’s Embassy in Bishkek, foreign students living in the Kyrgyz capital, including those from Pakistan, were attacked by locals in the aftermath of their brawl with Egyptian nationals on May 13. It is not clear what caused the initial altercation.

The Pakistani embassy in Bishkek reported there were no deaths. “Moreover, Kygyz Ministry of Internal Affairs has also issued press releases stating that the situation is under control,” it said.

 Hasan Zaigham, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, posted a video update on X on the situation. He said “local extremist elements” had attacked six hostels of international students and their private residences last night in Bishkek, injuring 14.

He said one Pakistani, Shahzeb, was under treatment in a hospital and he had visited the student on the prime minister’s instructions. “His condition is out of danger,” the ambassador added. Zaigham said embassy officials were constantly working since the morning to help address queries and concerns of Pakistanis with over 500 calls answered so far on emergency numbers. The ambassador appealed to the Pakistani community in Kyrgyzstan to not believe news on social media without verification. He added that the embassy should ensure support of the injured Pakistani students with the best treatment facilities.


News Desk


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