Over 100 Pak nationals airlifted from Kyrgyzstan

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - 13:58

Islamabad: A military aircraft on Tuesday brought back 134 Pakistani nationals, most of them students, who were stranded in Kyrgyzstan after deadly ethnic clashes erupted in the Central Asian country last week.

The C-130 Hercules aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force landed at Chaklala airbase in Rawalpindi early this morning. The Pakistani nationals were greeted on their arrival by anxious relatives, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira and Foreign Office spokesman Abul Basit.

Basit told reporters that another 113 Pakistanis had gathered at Osh airport to be evacuated.

Pakistani authorities had asked Kyrgyz security forces to escort another 15 to 20 stranded Pakistani nationals to the airport, he said.

Another military aircraft flew to Osh from Chaklala airbase this morning to bring back the remaining Pakistani nationals, officials said.

Pakistan also sent humanitarian supplies, including blankets, tents and medicines, in the two military aircraft.

The government yesterday placed three C-130 aircraft on standby to fly to Kyrgyzstan to bring back some 269 stranded Pakistani nationals from Osh.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani briefed the National Assembly or lower house of parliament about steps being taken by his government to repatriate the stranded Pakistanis.

The turmoil in Osh, Kyrgyzstan`s second largest city, has left at least one Pakistani student dead.

Gilani expressed concern at the plight of Pakistani students in Kyrgyzstan and assured their families that his government will do its utmost to bring them home safely.

The National Disaster Management Authority and the Foreign Ministry are working jointly to bring back the Pakistani nationals.

After conditions deteriorated in Osh, the Kyrgyz Army transported the Pakistani students to the airport. Pakistani students who returned today told reporters that they were escorted to Osh airport by Kyrgyz commandos.

Foreign Office spokesman Basit said all Pakistanis in Kyrgyzstan, except the student who lost his life, were safe and sound.

Over 100 people have died in clashes that erupted last week between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks. Kyrgyz government forces were accused of helping gangs slaughter Uzbeks.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - 13:58

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