Home Latest News Pakistani Students in Bishkek Advised to Remain Indoors Amidst Mob Violence

Pakistani Students in Bishkek Advised to Remain Indoors Amidst Mob Violence

P.M. Sharif says he has directed ambassador to provide affected students in Kyrgyzstan all necessary support

by Staff Report

Screengrab of a gathered mob in Bishkek

Pakistan’s Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan on Saturday advised all Pakistani students studying in Bishkek to remain indoors as local students subjected their foreign counterparts to mob violence, raising fears over the safety of the latter.

Reportedly, local students in Bishkek staged violent mob attacks targeting international students late on Friday night, ostensibly over an incident involving an Egyptian student from earlier in the week. “In view of mob violence around student hostels in Bishkek, the embassy strongly advises all Pakistani students in Bishkek to stay indoors until the situation returns to normal,” Pakistan’s Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Hasan Zaigham wrote on X.

“We are liaising with the local law enforcement authorities to ensure safety of our student fraternity,” he said, urging students in any “emergency situation” to contact the embassy at +996507567667. In a separate post, also on X, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch stressed that the safety of Pakistanis was of paramount importance for the ambassador and his team. She urged students and their families to pose any queries on the provided contact, adding if they could not connect by phone, they should use WhatsApp or send a text.

In a statement, Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar said the reports of mob attacks on international students in Kyrgyzstan were “extremely concerning,” adding Islamabad was in touch with Kyrgyz authorities to ensure the protection of Pakistani students. “I have instructed our ambassador to Kyrgyzstan to fully facilitate them,” he added.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, similarly, voiced his concern. He said his office was in touch with the Pakistani embassy and was constantly monitoring the situation. In a statement, the Prime Minister’s Office said any student wishing to return home should contact the embassy.

According to Baloch, Islamabad has made a demarche with Kyrgyzstan at the instructions of the foreign minister. “They have been impressed to take all possible measures to ensure the safety and security of Pakistani students and citizens residing in the Kyrgyz Republic,” she added.

In a public notice, the embassy said there had been “a number of incidents” of mob violence against foreign students in Bishkek overnight. “According to the Kyrgyz press, the matter boiled over yesterday due to sharing online of videos of a fight between Kyrgyz students and medical students from Egypt” on May 13, it said, adding several hostels of medical universities in Bishkek and private residences of international students, including Pakistanis, had been attacked.

The embassy stressed that while there were some reports of light injuries to a number of students from Pakistan, there was no confirmation of any deaths or rapes, as claimed on social media. It said it had already contacted over 250 students and their family members in Pakistan. “So far, the violence appears to be directed against all foreign students and not specific to Pakistanis,” it added.

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