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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Pakistani students attacked by local mob in Kyrgyzstan

According to the visuals emerging on social media, local police failed to control the mob as they ransacked the properties of 'brown' international students. 

Hundreds of Pakistani students in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan including female and male students are being attacked by locals after a fight broke out between the locals and Egyptian students.

Not just Pakistani but other international students from India and Bangladesh were attacked last night. Horrific visuals of the furious mob attacking the residence of Pakistani students, and beating them violently emerged on social media. Allegedly Pakistani female students were also attacked by the mob. Hostel of medical universities and private residences of international students including of Pakistanis were attacked in Bishkek.

Pakistani students called out families, friends, and authorities in Pakistan to help and rescue them. According to the visuals emerging on social media, local police failed to control the mob as they ransacked the properties of ‘brown’ international students.  Locals broke the door and windows of the buildings where Pakistani students were living.

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In response to the attack, the Pakistani ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Hasan Zaigham in a tweet asked students to stay indoors. “In view of mob violence around student hostels in Bishkek, the embassy strongly advises all Pakistani students in Bishkek to stay indoors until the situation returns to normal,” Zaigham wrote on X.

“We are liaising with the local law enforcement authorities to ensure the safety of our student fraternity.”

Read more: Man charged with anti-Muslim incidents in London

There are reports of Pakistani students being injured and female students sexually harassed by the locals. Several videos of Pakistani students showing the damage done to their belongings and properties are circulating on social media.

Pakistani Embassy and officials in Kyrgyzstan are being criticized on social media for not helping the students immediately. Several students complained that the number provided by the Pakistani Embassy for help was not attending the calls. Private local media has termed the protests as the protest against foreigners.

Foreign Minister of Pakistan Ishaq Dar in a tweet said that, “The reports of mob attacks on students in the Kyrgyz Republic are extremely concerning. We have established contact with the Kyrgyz authorities to ensure protection of Pakistani students. I have instructed our Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan to fully facilitate them.”

Foreign Office Spokesperson in a tweet said: “Amb @hazaigham & his team are available on these emergency numbers (both numbers on WhatsApp). They have responded to hundreds of queries by students and their families. In case the numbers do not connect because of phone traffic, please text/WhatsApp.”

“At the instructions of DPM @MIshaqDar50 a demarche has been made with the Kyrgyz Republic. They have been impressed to take all possible measures to ensure the safety and security of Pakistani students and citizens residing in the Kyrgyz Republic,” said the spokesperson of Foreign Office in another tweet.