Over 347 Pakistani students return home safely

Two special flights bring back more students trapped in Bishkek riots

Our Correspondent May 22, 2024


The safe return of Pakistani students trapped in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, following recent riots continued on Tuesday, with two special flights bringing back 347 students to Islamabad Airport.

The two special flights, KA-4575 and PIA PK-6252, carried 180 and 167 students, respectively, bringing the total number of students safely returned to over 1,000.

The Ministry of External Affairs, Overseas Pakistan Foundation (OPF), and airport authorities were on hand to welcome the returning students. Similarly, a large crowd of relatives and friends gathered at the airport to greet the students, creating emotional scenes as they reunited with their loved ones.

Special transport arrangements were also made for those without transportation options to ensure their safe journey home.

Read more: Students return home with harrowing tales of survival

On May 18, dozens of students, including 14 Pakistanis, were injured in a mob attack by locals on foreign students in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, according to news reports.

Details indicated that an enraged mob of hundreds stormed the hostels of foreign medical students, causing extensive damage by breaking windows, shattering glass, and ransacking property. Indian, Bangladeshi, and Egyptian students, including several women, were brutally assaulted.

The Pakistani Embassy in Bishkek reported that the attack on foreign students, including Pakistanis, followed a recent altercation between locals and Egyptian nationals.

In response, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif promptly directed special arrangements for the safe return of Pakistani students from Kyrgyzstan. He held a telephonic conversation with Pakistan's Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, Hasan Ali Zaigham, instructing him to ensure the necessary arrangements for their return.


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