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Tuesday, June 18, 2024  
11 Dhul-Hijjah 1445  

Situation normal in Kyrgyzstan’s Bishkek, says Pakistan’s FO

Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch urges people to share factual cases related to Kyrgyzstan violence
No Pakistanis were killed in the Kyrgyzstan clashes: Mumtaz Zahra Baloch - Aaj News

The situation in Kyrgyzstan’s capital city Bishkek has returned to normal more than 16 hours after a violent mob attacked several foreigners, including Pakistani students, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said on Saturday.

“According to the information available to us, the situation is normal there [in Kyrgyzstan] and the police have taken action against gangs and mob,” she said in an interview with Aaj Exclusive.

The police have been deployed outside the hostels, she added reiterated that the safety and security situation was “very improved.”

Concerns about the safety of Pakistanis grew when social media was flooded with videos of groups of men in the Central Asian country’s capital attacking hostels and students. Aaj News could not independently verify or check the veracity of the facts.

The incident that occurred on Friday night lasted until the wee hours of Saturday, said one of the students. But the FO rebuffed the reports of deaths and rape after contacting the host country’s authorities and information received from the chargé d’affaires.

‘No Pakistani arrested’

When asked, she said that the government has no reports of Pakistanis arrested but added that if someone has credible information bring it to the notice of the embassy.

The FO spokesperson added that the embassy has established a helpline and shared WhatsApp numbers for students. “If your call is not connecting then please message so that your message goes and action is taken.” She also mentioned the Crisis Management Unit established in the FO.

“Our main purpose is to ensure that the parents of students who are there and the students get assistance,” Baloch said and added that the government has asked the Kyrgyz authorities to ensure the safety of Pakistani citizens.

Earlier in the day, the Charge d’affaires of the Kyrgyz Embassy Melis Moldaliev was called to the FO for a demarche by Director General (ECO & CARs) Aizaz Khan.

The FO has demanded the authorities investigate and take action against people who attacked students.

“I ask people that if you have a specific case, which is based on facts, having names and the telephone number then please share the government will take it seriously, but without facts such statements about women will be inappropriate.”

One Pakistani receiving treatment for jaw injury

When asked about any threats being faced by Pakistanis, she reiterated that no Pakistani died in Kyrgyzstan and spoke about the misinformation on social media.

The FO spokesperson mentioned the meeting with the chargé d’affaires where the latter was explicitly asked about Pakistanis’ safety.

“We have been told that no foreign national and Pakistani national died there. There are no confirmed rape cases,” she said and added that some Pakistanis were injured who have been discharged from the hospital after being given first aid in the hospital. One Pakistani national, who is not a student but works there, is receiving treatment for a jaw injury.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic Hasan Zaigham visited the Kyrgyz National Hospital to check the well-being of Shahzaib who is under treatment there. He assured him that the Government of Pakistan would facilitate him.

Baloch added: “If someone has contradictory facts, they should share it with them and they will investigate it as irresponsible statements harass and horrify our students.”

Also, read this

PM directs ambassador in Kyrgyzstan to visit Pakistani students for support

Tit-for-tat: JI workers stages sit-in outside Kyrgyzstan embassy

Mob violence against Pakistanis: Kyrgyz media calls it protest against illegal foreigners

Is the diplomatic staff small?

In response to a query, she replied that Pakistan’s mission in Kyrgyzstan was small. “We have one ambassador, one diplomat, apart from that we have a staff of five to six people,” Baloch said and added that all of them were working 24 hours from Friday and handling issues.

“Because the mission is small, we have made a Crisis Management Unit in the FO so that such issues, demands, complaints, and questions are raised to them and FO will facilitate them.”

‘If any wants to come back, they can’

She replied in the affirmative when asked if any student wanted to come back home. The prime minister has given instructions in this regard.

But students have refused to leave their education in the middle of such a crisis as some of them had their exams and others’ studies were under way, she said. “Their main demand is protection.”

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