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Pakistanis in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan asked to stay indoors amid mob violence targeting foreign students

At least five Pakistani students were injured in the attacks.

Pakistanis in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan have been asked to stay indoors amid mob violence.

The directives were given following several Pakistani students in the Kyrgyzstan capital were subjected to mob violence late Friday night.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Hasan Zaigham urged all Pakistanis in the capital to “remain indoors until the situation returns to normal”.

Zaigham in a post on X, added that his office was liaising with local authorities to ensure students’ safety and posted numbers for the emergency helpline: +996555554476, +996507567667 and +996 507567667.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has activated its Crisis Management Unit (CMU), with Pakistani nationals in Kyrgyzstan and their families urged to contact the unit at the following numbers: 0519203108, 0519203094

The CMU’s email address provided is:  [email protected]

As reported at least five Pakistani students were injured in the attacks.

Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch shared in an update on X that five Pakistanis had been injured, one of whom suffered a jaw injury.

According to the Kyrgyzstan Ministry of Health, 29 people were injured during the protests.

Contrary to posts circulating on social media, the Pakistan embassy said that so far, they had received no confirmed reports of the death or rape of any Pakistani student.

Some hostels of medical universities in Bishkek and private residences of international students including Pakistanis were attacked.

According to the local media report, a spontaneous protest against foreigners that began Friday night in Bishkek ended only on the morning of May 18.

Police managed to come to an agreement with protesters and they opened Chui Avenue and dispersed a little late, as per the report.

The foreign students living in the Kyrgyz capital, including those from Pakistan, (India and Bangladesh) were attacked by locals in the aftermath of their brawl with Egyptian nationals on May 13, according to Pakistan’s Embassy in Bishkek.

Currently, at least 12,000 Pakistanis are studying in Kyrgyzstan.

Students flock to Kyrgyzstan to study which has the best healthcare, education, and transportation facilities among Central Asian nations.

Multiple reasons to study in the Kyrgyz Republic include the cheap cost of living, wide availability of Indian cuisine, a good student-teacher ratio, and no entrance fees are some of the facilities that attract Indian MBBS students.

Moreover, degrees provided by most Kyrgyzstan medical institutions are internationally recognised and also by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Statements from the Kyrgyzstan Government:

The Cabinet of Ministers of Kyrgyzstan issued a statement after protests against foreigners on the night of May 18, 2024, in Bishkek.

“The Cabinet of Ministers strongly condemns attempts to provoke violence and unrest on interethnic grounds due to the dissemination of untrue information on social media,” the statement reads.

“Destructive forces in foreign media and on social media, especially in Pakistan, are deliberately disseminating absolutely false and untrue information about the situation in the Kyrgyz Republic,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic said in a statement.

The Foreign Ministry once again stated that the situation in Bishkek is absolutely calm and completely controlled today. All necessary measures have been taken to ensure security and maintain peace and stability.

“The ministry asks representatives of the media, the blogging community, and their foreign colleagues to be guided only by official and verified information from the competent authorities of Kyrgyzstan,” the statement added.

Saman Siddiqui

I am a freelance journalist, holding a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication and an MS in Peace and Conflict Studies, associated with the electronic media industry since 2006 in various capacities. Here at OyeYeah, I cover a range of genres, from journalism to fiction to fashion, including reviews, and fact findings. 

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