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Pakistan, India urge citizens in Kyrgyzstan to stay inside

Mob violence in Kyrgyzstan in recent days has led to several Pakistani nationals getting injured. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif voiced concern, with Islamabad protesting to the Kyrgyz government.

The Pakistani and Indian governments on Saturday urged their citizens in Kyrgyzstan to stay indoors after mob violence towards foreigners. 

Hundreds of Kyrgyz men on Friday attacked buildings in Bishkek where foreign students reside, including Pakistani and Indian nationals. Thousands of Pakistanis and Indians are studying or working in the Central Asian country. 

Several Pakistanis injured after mob violence in Kyrgyzstan

Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mumtaz Baloch said Saturday in a post online that four Pakistani nationals had been provided first aid and discharged, with another under treatment for a jaw injury. It’s unclear if any Pakistanis have died from the attacks in Kyrgyzstan.  

Pakistan’s ambassador to Kyrgyzstan visited the Kyrgyz National Hospital to meet Pakistanis who were undergoing medical treatment after the attacks.  

Kyrgyzstan has “been impressed to take all possible measures to ensure the safety and security of Pakistani students and citizens residing in the Kyrgyz Republic,” Baloch said. Pakistan has handed a diplomatic note of protest to Kyrgyzstan over the violence. 

“Deeply concerned over the situation of Pakistani students in Bishkek,” Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said. “I have directed Pakistan’s Ambassador to provide all necessary help and assistance. My office is also in touch with the Embassy and constantly monitoring the situation.”    

A flight carrying 140 Pakistani students from Bishkek later arrived in Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore on Saturday, according to the Pakistani Foreign Ministry.  

India’s foreign minister ‘monitoring’ the welfare of students in Bishkek  

Both the Pakistani and Indian governments have set up hotlines for nationals in Kyrgyzstan if they need help. 

“Monitoring the welfare of Indian students in Bishkek. Situation is reportedly calm now. Strongly advise students to stay in regular touch with the Embassy,” Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar wrote said. 

It’s unclear if there were any Indians hurt in the mob violence.  

Kyrgyzstan government says situation under control

Most of the mob attacks occurred on Friday night. The Kyrgyz government deployed forces on Friday to mitigate the violence. 

“The authorities of Kyrgyzstan have taken all necessary measures to ensure security and maintain peace and stability. Our law enforcement forces will resolutely suppress any attempts to violate public order,” the Cabinet of Ministers of Kyrgyzstan said in a statement carried by the 24.kg Kyrgyz news website. 

In another statement cited by local news outlets, the Kyrgyz Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused “destructive forces in foreign media and on social media, especially in Pakistan” of disseminating false information regarding the violence in Bishkek.   

The Times of India reported that the mob attacks in Kyrgyzstan were sparked by a clash on May 13, when local Kyrgyz students got into a dispute with Egyptians and students from Arab countries. That incident reportedly left a Kyrgyz student injured, with anti-foreigner sentiment then rising in Kyrgyzstan over the past week.   

India and Pakistan both formally established ties with Kyrgyzstan in 1992 after Kyrgyzstan became an independent country following the collapse of the Soviet Union

Source: DW