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Pakistan to bring back over 500 students from Kyrgyzstan today

Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar announced on Sunday that three special commercial flights and an airforce plane are being arranged to repatriate over 500 Pakistani students from Kyrgyzstan following recent violence in Bishkek.

Speaking at a press conference, Dar revealed that approximately 130 students have already returned to Pakistan via commercial flights. “Today, an additional 540 students will be brought back on three special commercial flights, bringing the total number of repatriated students to 670,” he said.

Dar also mentioned that an airforce plane, with a capacity for 130 passengers, is scheduled to arrive today. The Pakistani embassy in Bishkek has informed students about this flight, and 50 students have registered to return on it.

This action follows the arrival of more than 100 students in Lahore last night after mob violence in Bishkek led to injuries among five Pakistani students, according to the Kyrgyz health ministry.

Kyrgyz police reported mobilizing forces on Friday to address the violence, during which hundreds of Kyrgyz men attacked buildings housing foreign students, including Pakistanis.

The violence erupted after an incident on May 13 involving Egyptian nationals. A spontaneous protest against foreigners allegedly started on Friday night and ended on Saturday morning after police negotiations.

In response to the unrest, Pakistan summoned Kyrgyzstan’s envoy, Melis Moldaliev, to the Foreign Office, demanding enhanced protection for Pakistani students. The embassy has advised students to remain indoors until the situation stabilizes.

On Saturday night, 140 Pakistani students arrived in Lahore, welcomed by Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi at Allama Iqbal International Airport.

PM orders urgent repatriation of students

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had initially requested Deputy Prime Minister Dar and Kashmir Affairs Minister Amir Muqam to visit Bishkek on a special flight. Instead, they addressed the media alongside Information Minister Attaullah Tarar, reporting that 16 foreign students, including four to five Pakistanis, were injured in the violence.

The Prime Minister has instructed Hasan Zaigham, Pakistan’s ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, to arrange for the repatriation of Pakistani students and their families. “Injured students should be prioritized for return,” the Prime Minister emphasized in a telephonic conversation with Zaigham.

A special plane will reportedly depart for Bishkek this evening to bring back 130 Pakistani students. Zaigham assured the Prime Minister that the Kyrgyz government has the situation under control. He added that no new incidents of violence were reported, and enhanced security measures were in place.

“The Kyrgyz deputy foreign minister confirmed that Pakistani and other foreign students are now safe,” the report concluded.

Read More: Pakistani students share harrowing details after safe evacuation from Kyrgyzstan

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