4,500 students have returned from Bishkek: FO

Spokeswoman did not have at hand details of expenses, as focus had been on facilitating individuals who wished to return to Pakistan

By Mariana Baabar
May 25, 2024
A general outside view of the Foreign Office building in Islamabad can be seen in this picture. — Radio Pakistan/File

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office Friday said over 4500 Pakistani students had already returned from Bishkek through the commercial and special flights.


Responding to several queries about the Pakistani students returning from Bishkek, spokeswoman Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said the 4500 figure did not include the individuals who may have returned through indirect flights coming through third countries.

She said the repatriation of students was taking place at the request of students. It is the decision of students to return home. The Government of Pakistan has facilitated the process. We have also advised the students to take these decisions taking into account their academic requirements. We believe that their return will also be an independent and personal decision of these students,” she said.

The spokeswoman did not have at hand details of expenses, as the focus had been on facilitating the individuals who wished to return to Pakistan.

“Once we have details of expenses incurred from various departments, including from our embassy in Bishkek, we would be able to make a definitive assessment. Secondly, in our various statements, we have said and it is our assessment that the situation in Bishkek has returned to normal. And we appreciate the Kyrgyz authorities for enhancing security of hostels of foreign students”, she added.

She pointed to the trauma faced by the students in light of the mob riots of last Friday, but said that the traffic of sensational and fake news added to the fear and trauma faced by these students and their families and added to their feeling of insecurity.

“The decision to return to Pakistan was taken by the students themselves. The Government of Pakistan made every effort to reassure them of their security and to facilitate their return. We hope that they would be able to continue their education through online and other distant learning means”, she said.

Baloch said the details of investment projects from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were expected to be announced in the coming weeks after the UAE president expressed his commitment to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to make substantive investments in Pakistan.

“Pakistan and the UAE have close bilateral ties and have been working together to enhance collaboration in trade and investment. During the visit of the prime minister to the UAE yesterday, the president of the UAE expressed commitment to make substantive investments in Pakistan. These investment projects in diverse fields will be discussed in the coming weeks,” said the spokeswoman when asked about details of the UAE investment.

She pointed out that the Government of Pakistan welcomes and appreciates the support that the UAE extended to Pakistan in the past. “We are grateful to the president of the UAE for his commitment to enhance investments in Pakistan. If you would see the press release, which was issued by the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday, it makes it clear that the investments would be made in multiple sectors in Pakistan. Various projects of cooperation and investment are under consideration between Pakistan and the UAE, both in public and private domain. Details would be announced in coming weeks”, she added. This was an ongoing process and Pakistan looks forward to further collaboration and exchange of visits in the field of trade and investment between Pakistan and the UAE.