Pakistan to airlift students from Kyrgyzstan

Pakistan is dispatching military planes to airlift its nationals.

Updated: Jun 14, 2010, 16:14 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan is dispatching military planes to airlift its nationals stranded in Kyrgyzstan, where a Pakistani student was killed and 15 others were abducted during violent ethnic riots.

Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said a C-130 plane will be dispatched today with humanitarian assistance and it would bring back stranded Pakistani nationals from Osh city.

The plane will also bring back the body of the Pakistani student who was killed in rioting, he said.

Pakistani nationals have been asked to gather at Osh airport to be evacuated. Efforts are underway for the safe return of all Pakistanis in Kyrgyzstan and the Pakistani ambassador has been directed to contact the Kyrgyz Foreign Minister in this regard, Basit said.

A list of stranded Pakistanis has been handed over to the Kyrgyz government, which is providing full support in this regard, he said.

Basit said 269 Pakistanis were believed to be stranded in Kyrgyzstan though some of them may have returned on their own to Pakistan over the past few days. About 100 Pakistanis were at safe locations in Osh city, he added.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi yesterday said that 1,200 to 1,500 Pakistani citizens, most of them students, were in Kyrgyzstan. Many students had returned to Pakistan for the summer vacation though some had stayed back to appear in examinations, he said.

A Pakistani student was killed in deadly ethnic clashes between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks. Seven girls are among the 15 students who have been abducted. Kyrgyzstan`s interim government has ordered police to shoot to kill gangs of marauders terrorising the population.