Dar arrives in Bishkek to take up Pakistani nationals’ concerns after mob violence

Inside the meeting between Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar and Kyrgyz officials in Astana on the sidelines of the SCO summit on May 20, 2024. — Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Foreign Minister embarks on a diplomatic visit to Kyrgyzstan: Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Dar travels with Kyrgyz Foreign Minister from Astana to Bishkek.
  • Deputy Prime Minister advances Pakistani citizens’ issues in discussions with Kyrgyz leadership.

Pakistan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar landed in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on Tuesday to raise pressing issues affecting Pakistani students who, along with other foreign nationals, fell victim to aggressive mob incidents in the past week.

The trip is taking place amidst the acceleration of evacuations of Pakistani students from Bishkek following last week’s aggression by local groups, with over 800 students repatriated thus far.

Several Pakistani students sustained injuries during the upheavals that began with a clash between Kyrgyz and Egyptian students, leading to subsequent assaults on medical university hostels and accommodations where international students, including those from Pakistan, resided in the metropolis.

Upon his arrival in Bishkek, Minister Dar met with his Kyrgyz equivalent, Kulubaev Zheenbek Moldokanovich, engaging in extensive talks.

Pakistan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Senator Ishaq Dar, conversing with Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Kulubaev Zheenbek Moldokanovich in Bishkek on May 21, 2024. — X/@ForeignOfficePk

Both parties reaffirmed the deep-rooted amicable ties that exist between Pakistan and the Kyrgyz Republic, highlighting their dedication to bolstering the bonds between their nations’ citizens, according to a statement from Pakistan’s Foreign Office.

The foreign ministers deliberated over the distressing episodes of violence inflicted upon foreigners, including Pakistani nationals in Kyrgyzstan.

Dar expressed gratitude towards the Kyrgyz authorities for rapidly reestablishing order and attending to the welfare of the Pakistani student community, while hoping those guilty of inciting violence would face justice.

The Kyrgyz Foreign Minister shed light on the measures undertaken to reinstate peace and order, his commitment to prosecuting those behind the riotous acts, and to secure the safety of all foreign nationals, including Pakistanis.

Subsequently, the Deputy Prime Minister visited National Hospital in Bishkek to meet Shahzaib, a Pakistani national working in textiles who was harmed during the recent upheaval in Bishkek.

Deputy PM and Foreign Minister, Senator Ishaq Dar, at the bedside of injured Pakistani worker Shahzaib at the National Hospital, Bishkek, May 21, 2024. — X/@ForeignOfficePk

At the hospital, Deputy Chairman of the Kyrgyz Cabinet of Ministers Edil Baisalov, and Kyrgyz Health Minister Alymkadyr Beishenaliev, welcomed Dar.

In conversation with Shahzaib, who expressed a wish to return to Pakistan for further treatment, the Deputy Prime Minister took note of his condition. After Shahzaib’s hospital discharge, he is scheduled to return to Pakistan on the same flight as the Deputy Premier.

One day prior, Dar met with the Kyrgyz foreign minister in Astana, Kazakhstan during the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s Council of Foreign Ministers event.

There, Minister Dar called for rapid measures against those responsible for the assaults on Pakistani students. They discussed the welfare of Pakistanis in Bishkek and the recent unsettling events.

Reiterating the prior day’s phone conversation, the Deputy Prime Minister emphasized Pakistan’s primary concern: the safety and security of its citizens, especially students who were largely affected by Friday’s developments.

Expressing the angst and trepidation among the student body, he implored Minister Kulubaev to guarantee their protection.

Minister Kulubaev reported that the Kyrgyz administration had swiftly acted to restore order and assured the law would address those accountable for the mobs. He reaffirmed the safety of Pakistani nationals and the aid for students intending to return to Pakistan.

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