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Pakistani Ministers to Depart for Bishkek to Aid Students Amid Mob Violence

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar and Federal Minister for Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan Affairs, Amir Muqam, are scheduled to depart for the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek, today. They will assess the situation and provide assistance to students affected by recent mob violence.

This initiative follows incidents where international students, including Pakistanis, were targeted in mob attacks following a confrontation with Egyptian nationals on May 13. Though reports initially suggested fatalities among Pakistani students, the Pakistani embassy in Bishkek refuted these claims.

In a proactive measure, thirty stranded Pakistani students, amidst the turmoil, have been repatriated to Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport via a special flight. Despite improvements in the situation, a delegation is being dispatched to ensure continued support for affected Pakistani students.

During their visit, Minister Dar will engage in discussions with senior Kyrgyzstan officials to coordinate efforts for providing medical aid to the injured students and facilitating their safe return home. Additionally, arrangements for the students’ repatriation will be reviewed by the deputy prime minister.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has directed Minister Muqam to personally visit Bishkek to address the grievances of Pakistani students and ensure they receive necessary assistance. The government is committed to facilitating the return of those who wish to come back to Pakistan at state expense, underscoring its unwavering support for the students during this challenging period.

Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur has extended support to Pakistani students from his province, offering to cover their expenses for a safe return. He expressed gratitude to the Kyrgyzstan government for their efforts in safeguarding Pakistani students and emphasized the shared responsibility in ensuring their welfare.

As a precautionary measure, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has activated its Crisis Management Unit and provided emergency helpline numbers for Pakistani nationals in Kyrgyzstan and their families to seek assistance. Additionally, the Pakistani embassy in Bishkek has established contact points for students in distress.

The unrest in Bishkek, sparked by a dispute between local and foreign students, has left Pakistani students feeling vulnerable and isolated. Despite assurances from authorities, students report ongoing riots and attacks, urging for immediate intervention and support from their home country.

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