No deaths among Pakistani students in Kyrgyzstan, Dar assures


LAHORE:

Speaking to the press on Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar announced that four aircraft, including a Pakistan Air Force Airbus, are set to bring back 540 Pakistani students from the unrest-affected Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan.

Dar ensured the public that there have been no fatalities among Pakistani students amid the disturbances.

Information Minister Ataullah Tarar and Federal Minister Engr Amir Muqam joined Dar as he spoke, mentioning that the total count of evacuated students will hit 670 with the addition of today’s flights.

He mentioned that while three of the flights are completely reserved, seats on the PAF plane remain available.

Hotlines are open around the clock to help Pakistani citizens secure a passage home on these flights, Dar stated.

He also noted that while some students have opted to leave, others prefer to stay. “We are ready to assist those who want to depart,” he said.

The previous night, 140 Pakistani students managed to reach the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore from Bishkek amidst violence directed at foreign students including Pakistanis.

Dar relayed details from the Kyrgyz foreign minister, noting that 16 students from various countries were injured, including four Pakistanis, during the clashes.

He repeated assurances from his counterpart, the Kyrgyz president, and the cabinet chair that the situation is now stable with no further incidents reported.

The Deputy Prime Minister reported that his counterpart encouraged better communication between international and Kyrgyz students.

Also see: Families Anxious as Unrest Continues in Bishkek

Dar shed light on how the Kyrgyz opposition criticizes the presence of foreign students, conveying messages from the Kyrgyz foreign minister that despite opposition claims, the Kyrgyz government holds its relationship with Pakistan in high regard.

As for the spread of false information online, Dar quoted the Kyrgyz minister: “‘Such misinformation from paid bloggers and social media users has an unclear motive’,” asserting that reports of Pakistani fatalities were completely unfounded.

The Deputy Prime Minister disclosed that since the Kyrgyz leaders assured them of a stable situation, the planned ministerial visits were postponed to maintain mutual respect in their diplomatic ties.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had initially directed Dar and Minister of Kashmir Affairs Amir Muqam to visit Bishkek on the given Sunday.

Dar also sought to alleviate fears sparked by distressing visuals on the internet, confirming that the situation is now secure with increased safety measures in place.

Lastly, Muqam highlighted the importance of the student’s educational endeavors and urged to keep the issue separate from political discourse.

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