Pakistan concerned over safety of students in Kyrgyzstan after mob attacks - GulfToday

Pakistan concerned over safety of students in Kyrgyzstan after mob attacks


A scene of mob violence against foreigner students in Bishkek. X photo

Pakistan's foreign ministry said on Saturday it had summoned and handed a note of protest to Kyrgyzstan's top diplomat in the country in response to violence against Pakistani students in Bishkek.

Pakistan asked its nationals in Kyrgyzstan to stay indoors after mobs attacked foreigners in the capital Friday night over some dispute with migrants, the foreign ministry said on Saturday. According to local media, the violence began last week following a clash between Kyrgyz people and foreigners in Bishkek.

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

The attack, the police said, was prompted by foreigners — whose nationality was not immediately clear — beating up locals in the city.

"It was impressed on the Kyrgyz charge d'affaires that the Kyrgyz government should take all possible measures to ensure the safety and security of Pakistani students and citizens," Pakistan's foreign ministry said in a statement.

The statement said the Kyrgyz health ministry had confirmed four Pakistanis were given first aid and discharged while one was still under treatment for injury.

Pakistan said it had set up emergency hotlines for those affected by the violence.

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif in a statement expressed concern over the incident, saying Islamabad would fly back any of Pakistani citizens who wanted to leave the country immediately.

The Pakistani authorities in Bishkek said the Kyrgyz government had confirmed that no Pakistani student died in the mob violence against international students.

"Moreover, Kygyz Ministry of Internal Affairs has also issued press releases stating that the situation is under control," the Pakistan Embassy said in a statement.

Shahbaz contacted Pakistani Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Hassan Ali Zaigham over telephone and directed to provide all kind of support and assistance to the Pakistani students. He also ordered the Pakistani ambassador to visit the hostels and meet the students.

The ambassador informed the prime minister about the current situation in Bishkek and said no Pakistani was killed in the incident.

He said the embassy was assisting the wounded students. The prime minister emphasised to keep in constant touch with the parents of the students and provide them timely information.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar said that the government had established contact with the Kyrgyz authorities to ensure the protection of Pakistani students in Bishkek, amidst the incidents of mob violence.

The deputy prime minister calling the reports of mob attacks on students "extremely concerning” instructed the Pakistan’s ambassador to Kyrgyzstan to fully facilitate them.

The embassy has already shared the helpline numbers +996555554476 and +996507567667, and had responded to a hundreds of calls from the students and their families.

Kyrgyzstan's Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that the situation was "completely under the control of law enforcement agencies" after the incident of mob violence in capital Bishkek involving foreign students and locals left many injured.

The clashes, which began from a hostel on Monday and majorly involved students from Pakistan, took an ugly turn on Friday night as local protesters also raised the issue of illegal migration.

"From the moment information about the incident was received, law enforcement agencies of the Kyrgyz Republic took prompt measures to detain persons involved in the event, both foreign citizens and citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic," Kyrgyzstan's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.



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