Pakistan in contact with Kyrgyzstan to ensure safe evacuation of its citizens: FM

12:21, June 14, 2010      

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Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Sunday Pakistan is in contact with the Kyrgyz authorities to gain access to its citizens and ensure their safe evacuation.

While talking to local media in response to the reports that one of the 15 Pakistani students abducted by unknown extremists in Kyrgyzstan was killed, the foreign minister confirmed the death of a Pakistani student in Kyrgyzstan, but said the reports that other 14 Pakistani students were abducted in Kyrgyzstan were not confirmed.

"This is not authentic information. It is only hearsay which is natural in such a situation," said Qureshi, adding that all measures were being taken to protect the Pakistani community present in Kyrgyzstan and the Foreign Office is now in close contact with the Pakistani ambassador in Kyrgyzstan.

The minister said, "Pakistani ambassador is in contact with Kyrgyz officials to get access to its Pakistani citizens. We have conveyed our concern to the Kyrgyz government and trying to contact the students in order to get them safely evacuated."

He said about 1,200 to 1,500 Pakistani citizens, mostly students, were in Kyrgyzstan. Many students had returned to Pakistan due to summer vacations although some were staying there to take examinations, he added.

The minister expressed sorrow over the death of a Pakistani student in Kyrgyzstan violence.

The student killed in Kyrgyzstan is named Ali Raza who had been studying engineering in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh for the last four years. He came from the Jhang area of Punjab province in east Pakistan.

Ali Raza is among the 82 people killed so far in the clashes between ethnic groups in Kyrgyzstan which broke out in the central Asian country a couple of days ago.



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