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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Pakistani students evacuated from Kyrgyzstan after violent mob attack

Following the attacks, the Pakistani government swiftly arranged four daily flights to facilitate the safe return of students.

In response to a violent mob attack on foreign students in Kyrgyzstan, the Pakistani government has organized multiple special flights to bring home affected students. The evacuation comes after a distressing incident that put many students at risk, prompting urgent measures to ensure their safety.

Government’s Immediate Response

Following the attacks, the Pakistani government swiftly arranged four daily flights to facilitate the safe return of students. Information Minister Attaullah Tarar welcomed the returning students at Lahore airport, highlighting the government’s commitment to their welfare. “The government has allowed four flights daily to enable students to return home on time,” Tarar stated.

Read More: Pakistani students attacked by local mob in Kyrgyzstan

The initiative began with the arrival of 170 students on Monday, raising the total number of evacuated students to 540. Tarar acknowledged the severity of the situation last week and assured maximum facilitation for the students’ educational continuity and degree completion.

Evacuation Efforts Intensified

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar announced the arrangement of three commercial flights to repatriate 540 students. Addressing the media in Lahore, Dar stated, “Yesterday, around 130 students reached Pakistan via commercial flights. Today, three commercial flights have been arranged for 540 more students.”

Additionally, the Pakistan Air Force was mobilized to operate a special flight with a capacity of approximately 130 students. The government has been in constant communication with the students, ensuring they are informed about available flights.

Incident Overview

The violent clashes erupted in Bishkek after a brawl between Kyrgyz and Egyptian students went viral, leading to mob attacks on hostels and private lodgings of international students. According to the Kyrgyz health ministry, five Pakistani students were injured. The situation prompted heightened security measures and increased police presence to protect the students.

Kyrgyz police managed to quell the violence by reaching an agreement with the rioters, resulting in the dispersal of the mobs. Pakistan’s embassy in Bishkek advised students to remain indoors until the situation normalized.

Diplomatic Efforts and Assurances

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif instructed Pakistani officials to ensure the safe return of injured students and their families. He also directed Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar and other ministers to monitor the situation closely. However, a planned visit by Dar to Kyrgyzstan was canceled at the request of the Kyrgyz government to avoid politicizing the issue.

Dar shared details of his conversation with Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Zheenbek Kulubaev, who assured him that the situation was under control and being monitored “minute-to-minute.” The Kyrgyz government expressed regret over the violence and pledged to hold perpetrators accountable.

Ensuring Student Safety

The Kyrgyz government has arrested several individuals involved in the attacks and has enhanced security at student hostels. Dar emphasized that the government would not tolerate any harm to Pakistani nationals and assured families that the situation was being closely monitored.

Information Minister Attaullah Tarar criticized a political party for spreading misinformation about the incident, causing unnecessary panic among parents. He reiterated that there was no delay in the government’s response to the incident and that all necessary measures were being taken to protect Pakistani students.

Read More: UN announces ex President Kyrgyzstan as the new envoy to Afghanistan

The Pakistani government continues to liaise with Kyrgyz authorities to ensure the safety and security of its nationals. The embassy remains in close contact with the students, providing assistance and facilitating their return. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif remains committed to the welfare of Pakistani citizens abroad and is monitoring the situation to ensure no further incidents occur.