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Bishkek Pakistanis Mod violence in Kyrgyzstan

Mob violence on international students in Kyrgyzstan

By JANE SMITHPublished about a month ago 4 min read
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Pakistanis in Kyrgyzstan Bishkek Asked to stay indoors amid mob riots.

Pakistani students in Bishkek were reportedly victims of mob violence late Friday night, as stated by Pakistani officials. Though no confirmed fatalities were reported by the Pakistani Embassy, the incident has raised significant alarm.

According to the Pakistani Embassy in Bishkek, foreign students residing in the Kyrgyz capital, including those from Pakistan, were assaulted by locals following a recent altercation with Egyptian nationals. The embassy's public notice on Facebook indicated that some hostels of medical universities in Bishkek and private residences of international students, including Pakistanis, were targeted in the attacks.

Late Friday night in the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek, a number of Pakistani students fell victim to mob violence, resulting in at least five injuries, as confirmed by Pakistani officials on Saturday.

Local residents reportedly launched attacks on international students following the circulation of a viral video depicting a confrontation between them and Egyptian nationals. Kyrgyz media characterized the violence as a "protest against foreigners." Pakistani Embassy officials stated that five Pakistanis were injured and advised nationals to stay indoors. Similar instructions were issued by Indian authorities. The Pakistani Foreign Office issued a demarche to the Kyrgyz envoy, while the Kyrgyz deputy PM met with the Pakistani ambassador to assure that the situation was under control. Although no fatalities were reported by the Pakistani embassy in Bishkek, Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar deemed the incident "extremely concerning." According to the Pakistan Embassy in Bishkek, foreign students, including Pakistanis, were targeted by locals following their altercation with Egyptian nationals on May 13. Approximately 12,000 Pakistanis are studying in Kyrgyzstan.

Previously, Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar expressed deep concern over the reports of mob violence targeting Pakistani students in Bishkek, describing the situation as "extremely concerning." He stated that contact had been established with Kyrgyz authorities to ensure the safety of Pakistani students and instructed the Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan to provide full assistance to them. Hasan Zaigham, Pakistan's Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, also advised all Pakistanis in the capital to stay indoors until the situation stabilizes.

Five Pakistani medical students were wounded in a mob assault on foreign students in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, as stated by Pakistan's ambassador to Kyrgyzstan on Saturday. Several incidents of mob violence against foreign students have occurred in Bishkek since Friday evening, fueled by the online circulation of videos depicting a clash between Kyrgyz students and medical students from Egypt on May 13, according to the Pakistani embassy's Facebook post, citing Kyrgyz media. Thus far, a number of hostels at medical universities in Bishkek and private residences of international students, including Pakistanis, have been targeted. These hostels accommodate students from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, with reports of minor injuries to some Pakistani students. "Five Pakistani students sustained injuries during the mob violence. One is currently receiving treatment at a local hospital for jaw injuries, while the remaining four were discharged after receiving initial medical attention," stated Hasan Zaigham, Pakistan's ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, in a phone interview with Arab News.

1. "No Pakistani citizens have been reported killed or sexually assaulted during the unrest," the ambassador clarified, dismissing social media rumors. "The situation is now under control, with Bishkek authorities dispersing the troublemakers." The ambassador advised Pakistani students to remain indoors and contact the embassy if needed, emphasizing ongoing coordination with local law enforcement to ensure student safety. Approximately 10,000 Pakistani students are enrolled in various institutes in Kyrgyzstan, with nearly 6,000 residing and studying in Bishkek, where the violence occurred on Friday night, according to Zaigham. He explained that the violence erupted after videos of a confrontation between Egyptian students and locals earlier in the week were circulated online, prompting mob attacks on foreign students residing in different hostels across the city.

2. Refuting rumors circulating on social media, the ambassador confirmed that no Pakistani nationals had been killed or subjected to sexual assault during the unrest. "The situation is now under control, with Bishkek authorities dispersing all troublemakers," he stated. Advising Pakistani students to stay indoors and reach out to the embassy if necessary, he assured ongoing collaboration with local law enforcement to ensure student safety. Zaigham noted that approximately 10,000 Pakistani students are enrolled in various institutes in Kyrgyzstan, with nearly 6,000 residing and studying in Bishkek, where the violence erupted on Friday night. He attributed the unrest to the online sharing of videos depicting a clash between Egyptian students and locals earlier in the week, which led to mob attacks targeting foreign students across different hostels in the city.

3. "There have been no reports of Pakistani fatalities or sexual assaults amidst the recent disturbances," clarified the ambassador, dispelling social media speculation. "The situation is now under control, with Bishkek authorities dispersing the troublemakers." Urging Pakistani students to remain indoors and contact the embassy if needed, he stressed ongoing collaboration with local law enforcement to ensure student safety. Approximately 10,000 Pakistani students are enrolled in various institutes across Kyrgyzstan, with nearly 6,000 residing and studying in Bishkek, where the violence erupted on Friday night, according to Zaigham. He attributed the outbreak of violence to the dissemination of videos depicting a confrontation between Egyptian students and locals earlier in the week, inciting mob attacks against foreign students in different city hostels.

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