Plane to rescue stranded Pakistanis in Kyrgysztan

Islamabad is sending a plane to Kyrgyzstan to bring back Pakistanis stranded there due to ongoing unrest in the country.

Sumera Khan/express June 14, 2010

Islamabad is sending a plane to Kyrgyzstan to bring back Pakistanis stranded there due to ongoing unrest in the country.

Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said that a plane carrying aid for the Pakistanis will leave for Kyrgyzstan on Monday (today). This plane will also bring them back to Pakistan.

Kyrgystan's Ambassador to Pakistan Noor Ain Nayaz has also been asked by the foreign office to investigate the killing of a Pakistani student in a riot. Nayaz has also been asked to ensure security of Pakistanis stranded in Kyrgyzstan.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has expressed alarm at the scale of clashes and their inter-ethnic nature in southern Kyrgyzstan.

Ban Ki-moon has voiced concern over the rising numbers of dead and displaced people. He has also ordered his envoy to travel to the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek.

More than 100 people have been killed in three days of clashes between Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbeks in Osh city and its surrounding areas. Tens of thousands of ethnic Uzbeks have been forced to flee the country.

On Saturday, the interim government in Bishkek gave security forces shoot-to-kill powers. It also urged Russia to send in troops to help quell the violence, but Moscow said it had no plans to intervene.

14 kidnapped Pakistanis rescued

Foreign Office sources say the 14 Pakistani students kidnapped by extremists in the city of Osh have been rescued by Kyrgyz armed forces. Meanwhile, confirming the death of a student from Jhang, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the government will charter a plane to evacuate the Pakistanis trapped in Kyrgyzstan.

The central Asian country is seeing a serious clash between ethnic Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbek. Authorities say the violence in Osh and Jalalabad has killed 97 persons and injured over 1,200.

Engineering student Ali Raza was apparently killed by firing during the riots in Osh. Kyrgyz embassy sources in Islamabad say the stranded Pakistani students at Osh University were shifted to the Kyrgyz parliament building in armoured personnel carriers. However, they confess ignorance regarding the motives behind the abduction and other details regarding the incident.

Earlier, talking about the incident to the media in Islamabad, Qureshi said all measures were being taken to protect the Pakistani community in Kyrgyzstan and that the Foreign Office was in close contact with the Pakistani ambassador in Bishkek and the Kyrgyz foreign minister.

Meanwhile, additional foreign secretary Haroon Shaukat also summoned the Kyrgyz embassy charge d’ affairs to the Foreign Office. Pakistan has demanded an immediate inquiry into the killing of the Pakistani  student and has also asked for a report about the other Pakistanis.

“There are some 30 to 40 Pakistanis who are now in safe custody and we’re trying to gather the details regarding another 269,” said Qureshi. He said there are between 1,200 and 1, 500 Pakistanis, including more than 100 students, in Kyrgyzstan. Luckily, he added, many students had returned to Pakistan for the summer although some had stayed back to sit their examinations. “The prime minister has now given approval for sending humanitarian assistance for the refugees by Tuesday morning, latest, and the same plane will also bring back those Pakistani who wish to be evacuated,” said Qureshi.

Published in the Express Tribune, June 14th, 2010.


Ali Haider | 11 years ago | Reply It is good to see that the government is slowly realizing that protecting its overseas nationals is its responsibility. Better still, government should look into training of embassy employees so that they know how to behave. Our embassies are no go areas for us nationals. The foriegners are treated better than Pakistani nationals, similar to what happens in Pakistan.
Hira Mir | 11 years ago | Reply A sad happening. The country cries tears of sorrow on the death of this Pakistani student. Pakistanis condemn such violence and strict action must be taken on this  can imagine the pain of the parents whose kid was a victim of violence.
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