Kyrgyzstan Crisis: What Indian and Pakistani Students Need to Know
Kyrgyzstan Crisis: What Indian and Pakistani Students Need to Know

Kyrgyzstan Violence: Key Information on the Situation and Responses
Overview of the Violence
In Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, foreign students, including those from India and Pakistan, are facing threats from locals amid ongoing mob violence. This unrest primarily targets international students and has raised significant concerns.

India's Advisory to Students
On May 18, India advised its students in Bishkek to remain indoors following reports of mob violence aimed at South Asian students. The Indian embassy in Kyrgyzstan has described the current situation as "calm." The embassy is in contact with Indian students, advising them to stay safe and keep in touch. External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar also urged students to maintain regular communication with the embassy.

Causes of the Violence
The violence erupted after a viral video on social media showed a fight on May 13 between Kyrgyz students and foreign students, mainly from Pakistan and Egypt. Locals viewed this incident as a violation of their hospitality. As a result, on May 17, Kyrgyz locals protested, accusing officials of being too lenient towards the foreign students involved. Police had detained three students related to the incident. The violence quickly escalated, with mobs targeting hostels housing international students from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

India's Response
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar posted on social media, monitoring the situation and advising students to stay in touch with the embassy. The Indian Embassy reassured that it is monitoring the situation, advising students to stay indoors and providing a 24/7 contact number (0555710041) for any issues.

Statements from Kyrgyz Authorities
On May 18, the Kyrgyz foreign ministry stated that law enforcement had acted quickly to detain those involved in the incident, and the situation is now under control. The ministry reported no serious injuries among the participants and urged media and diplomatic missions to avoid spreading unverified information.

Health and Safety Updates
The Kyrgyz health ministry reported that four Pakistani students received first aid and were discharged, while one remains under treatment for injuries. Police in riot gear were deployed in parts of Bishkek due to large crowds gathering after the fight on May 13.

Indian Student Population in Kyrgyzstan
Approximately 15,000 Indian students are studying in Kyrgyzstan, many pursuing MBBS degrees due to the affordability and quality of medical education. Degrees from Kyrgyzstan universities are internationally recognized, including by the World Health Organization (WHO). A recent advisory from India described Kyrgyzstan as safe and friendly towards Indian nationals.

Pakistan's Response
Pakistan's Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, Hasan Zaigham, advised Pakistani students in Bishkek to stay indoors until the situation normalizes. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif directed Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar and Federal Minister Amir Muqam to visit Bishkek to assist Pakistani students. They are traveling on a special plane to provide support. Pakistan's Foreign Affairs Ministry also issued a demarche to Kyrgyzstan regarding the situation.

Update on Pakistani Students
Ambassador Zaigham confirmed no deaths among Pakistani students. A special flight carrying 180 Pakistani students landed at Lahore's Allama Iqbal International Airport on May 18.

The situation in Bishkek remains tense but reportedly calm. Both India and Pakistan are closely monitoring the situation and taking measures to ensure the safety of their students. The Kyrgyz authorities are working to control the violence and maintain public order.

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