205 more students arrive in Karachi from Kyrgyzstan

Published May 23, 2024
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah speaking to media at Jinnah International Airport after receiving students returning from Kyrgyzstan on May 23, 2024. — Screengrab via X/@SindhCMHouse
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah speaking to media at Jinnah International Airport after receiving students returning from Kyrgyzstan on May 23, 2024. — Screengrab via X/@SindhCMHouse

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Thursday received students returning from Kyrgyzstan at Jinnah International Airport, Karachi following last week’s mob attacks in Bishkek.

A day earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar had said that the number of Pakistani students who fled Kyrgyzstan has surpassed 3,000, and is expected to exceed 4,000 by midnight.

His press conference in Islamabad came after his visit to Bishkek on Tuesday where he spoke to officials about the mob attacks targeting international students, among whom were Pakistanis.

Speaking to the media at the airport, CM Murad said that of the 205 students brought back on Thursday’s flight, 99 were from Karachi.

Twenty-two were from Hyderabad, 13 from Khairpur, 15 from Naushahro Feroze, 12 each from Sukkur and Nawabshah, five each from Badin, Dadu, Mirpurkhas and Jacobabad, three from Tando Adam, two each from Jamshoro and Kashmore, and one each from Kandhkot, Pano Aqil and Tharparkar, APP quoted the chief minister as saying.

Arrangements have been made for the students to travel back to their respective hometowns.

“The incident in Kyrgyzstan was a major issue for these children, their parents and the whole country. There was no fault of theirs, they had gone to study,” CM Murad said.

He acknowledged the swift response of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in setting up a crisis management cell.

CM Murad noted that 180 students were still left in Kyrgyzstan, of which six had minor injuries.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been notified that the Sindh government will bear the expenses of repatriating the remaining students, the chief minister said, adding that health checkups will be provided for the injured.

With regards to the students furthering their education, CM Murad acknowledged that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has established a 25-member committee, headed by Dar, to adjust students who have returned from Kyrgyzstan in Pakistani medical colleges.

The chief minister praised PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari in particular for using his contacts in Kyrgyzstan to facilitate the students and ensure their safety.

“The responsibility of our citizens, whichever corner of the world they may be in, are the responsibility of the government of Pakistan,” the chief minister said.

“Children go abroad for their education, our labourers, technical people go abroad, they earn foreign exchange, they take care of their families, and the responsibility is definitely with the government of Pakistan to ensure their safety and security at all times.”

290 students being brought to Peshawar

Separately, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa CM Ali Amin Gandapur said that 290 students were being brought back to Pakistan from Kyrgyzstan on a special flight.

The aircraft, which departed Bishkek on Thursday afternoon, is expected to land in Peshawar by the evening, he added.

The KP CM’s X account posted that a “special plane sent by the KP government” landed in Bishkek earlier today. The post added that the KP government “has paid all the expenses for the students” returning to Pakistan.

This post was followed by a video from inside the flight’s cabin, where students clapped and cheered, chanting slogans praising the chief minister.

According to the post, the plane departed Bishkek and was en route to Peshawar with 290 students on board.

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