Several Pakistani students injured in mob violence in Bishkek

Islamabad/Bishkek, May 18 (UNI) Over a dozen Pakistani students have reportedly been injured in mob attacks on foreign students by locals in Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek.

Disturbing videos are circling on social media showing locals thrashing South Asian students, mostly Pakistanis, with reports claiming that at least three students have died.

Violent clashes erupted between student groups in Bishkek, with reports of the attackers using batons to beat the foreign students. The attackers forcefully entered the hostel rooms and beat and wounded several international students, mostly Pakistanis.

The violence erupted following a brawl involving Egyptian students on May 13.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the Kyrgyzstan Hassan Ali Zaigham on Saturday raised concerns with Kyrgyz Deputy Foreign Minister Imangaziev Almaz about the safety and welfare of Pakistani nationals, particularly the large number of affected Pakistani students and their families.

The ambassador met the Kyrgyz Deputy FM on the instructions of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar, the Foreign Office Spokesperson said in a press release.

The Kyrgyz minister informed that their authorities had controlled the situation which was now back to normal.

He said that Kyrgyz police was providing security to all the hostels and the matter was being directly supervised by the Kyrgyz President.

Deputy FM Almaz assured the ambassador that the government of Kyrgyzstan would take legal action against the perpetrators yesterday’s attack.

He shared that 14 foreign nationals including some Pakistanis were discharged after first aid while one Pakistani national remained under treatment.

Earlier, Pakistan’s embassy in Kyrgyzstan issued an advisory to the Pakistani students in Bishkek to stay indoors.

“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 early on Saturday.

“We are liaising with the local law enforcement authorities to ensure safety of our student fraternity.”

Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, spokeswoman for the Pakistani Foreign Office, said the Pakistani embassy had responded to hundreds of queries by students and their families.

The embassy said that so far they had received no confirmed reports of death or rape of any Pakistani student there.

Quoting the Kyrgyz press, it said that the matter boiled over after a video of a fight between Kyrgyz students and medical students from Egypt was shared on May 13.

It said that some hostels of medical universities in Bishkek and private residences of international students including Pakistanis have been attacked. The hostels are inhabited by students from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also took note of the violent situation in Bishkek and expressed concern for Pakistani students.

“Deeply concerned over the situation of Pakistani students in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. I have directed Pakistan’s Ambassador to provide all necessary help and assistance,” he wrote on X.

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