Pakistani students in Bishkek say they were 'abandoned' by govt

Thursday, 23 May, 2024
Pakistan Deputy PM Ishaq Dar said an inquiry committee will probe the mob violence in Kyrgyzstan. (Photo courtesy: X@ForeignOfficePk)

Islamabad: Pakistani students have criticized the Shehbaz Sharif government for making false claims about ensuring their safe return from Kyrgyzstan where violence has erupted following a brawl at a hostel between foreign students and locals.

The students shared shocking details of mob attacks, threats, and injuries they suffered at the hands of the protesting locals in the capital Bishkek last week, after returning home via special flights from Kyrgyzstan, news agency IANS reported.

They slammed the Pakistani embassy in the country and the government for making tall claims about acting swiftly on the matter, which they termed as "blatant lies". Further, the government personnel, who were present at the airport on May 19 to receive them, faced serious and aggressive criticism from the students.

"The government claims that it is bearing all costs of bringing back students from Kyrgyzstan via special flights. I want to tell this clearly that it is a complete and blatant lie. We have paid fares for tickets ourselves," a returning student at Lahore airport, told IANS.

Most of the 600 students, who have been repatriated to Pakistan, also stated that the Pakistani embassy in Bishkek did nothing to ensure their safety.

"Me and my other friends were taken to the Bishkek airport by some considerate locals, who had known us for years and wanted to help us. Some of our friends who hired taxis were also attacked on their way by the locals. The government's actions were nowhere to be seen. We were left to survive on our own," said a student.

The Pakistan government claimed that Kyrgyzstan has assured that the situation is back to normal, hinting towards an expected halt to the special flights designated to bring back Pakistani students from the country.

Kyrgyzstan, a popular destination for education in the medical field, attracts a large number of students from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. In the past few days, Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, has been experiencing massive mob violence with foreign students, including those from India and Pakistan, facing threats from residents.

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Pakistan's fact-finding committee to probe Bishkek incidents

Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar has said that an inquiry committee will be formed to probe the mob violence in Kyrgyzstan during which Pakistani nationals, including students studying in the capital Bishkek, were attacked, Geo TV reported.

At least five Pakistani students were reported injured in the violence which was triggered following a harassment incident on May 13 involving Egyptian students in the Kyrgyz capital.

Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar, who recently visited Bishkek, said he held detailed discussions with his counterpart in Kyrgyzstan who assured and confirmed that the situation is under control. Dar's visit came as Pakistan ramped up evacuations of its students from Bishkek with over 3,000 pupils returning to the country so far.

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