Pakistanis among hundreds of foreign students flee Kyrgyzstan after mob attack

Pakistanis among hundreds of foreign students flee Kyrgyzstan after mob attack
Pakistani nationals, including students, wait for a repatriation flight, as they leave Kyrgyzstan after a mob recently attacked their living quarters, at the airport outside Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, May 23, 2024. (REUTERS)
Short Url
Updated 24 May 2024
Follow

Pakistanis among hundreds of foreign students flee Kyrgyzstan after mob attack

Pakistanis among hundreds of foreign students flee Kyrgyzstan after mob attack
  • Hundreds of Kyrgyz men stormed a hostel in Bishkek on May 17 and attacked foreign students because of an earlier brawl
  • The Pakistani government has arranged extra flights leaving daily from Bishkek and many students are using the opportunity

BISHKEK: Students from Pakistan and other Asian countries are leaving Kyrgyzstan by the hundreds after an angry mob attacked their living quarters this month, although some hope to return when the situation calms down.
Hundreds of Kyrgyz young men stormed a hostel in capital Bishkek in the early hours of May 17 and attacked foreign students there because of a brawl that happened between several Kyrgyz men and foreigners a few days earlier.
Police, although present, were unable to stop the violence.
“They invaded our... hostel and it was a terrifying moment for all of us and it was the worst nightmare,” said Imran Yousaf, a pathologist at the International University Kyrgyzstan.
He said that despite the students’ attempts to barricade entrances and hide, the attackers beat up and assaulted several students including some women.
“We were very much surprised and we were so much mentally traumatized at that time when people came in,” Yousaf said. “I don’t know what kind of provocateur is responsible for that kind of hatred among them.”
The government of Pakistan has arranged extra flights leaving daily from Bishkek and many students are using the opportunity to return home, at least temporarily.
Medical schools of Kyrgyzstan have over the last few decades become popular among aspiring doctors from India, Pakistan and some other Asian and Arab countries, in part thanks to relatively affordable fees and living expenses.
The Kyrgyz government has sought to allay foreign students’ fears and held meetings with their leaders, said Yousaf, who expressed hope that those who are leaving will return in a few months. Police have detained more than a dozen of the suspected attackers.
“The government of Kyrgyzstan has taken beautiful steps,.. our student council was invited to the parliament of Kyrgyzstan, along with the President, there was a one-on-one meeting, and I hope, Inshallah (God willing), with hope in my eyes and logic on my back, that this situation will dampen in the days to come,” Yousaf said.
“I am saying to all my friends, don’t think that Kyrgyzstan is bad,” said another student, Hamza Yasin.


Pakistan naval ship Babur visits Jeddah, conducts joint exercise with Saudi Arabia’s Al-Riyadh frigate

Pakistan naval ship Babur visits Jeddah, conducts joint exercise with Saudi Arabia’s Al-Riyadh frigate
Updated 52 min 25 sec ago
Follow

Pakistan naval ship Babur visits Jeddah, conducts joint exercise with Saudi Arabia’s Al-Riyadh frigate

Pakistan naval ship Babur visits Jeddah, conducts joint exercise with Saudi Arabia’s Al-Riyadh frigate
  • Pakistan, Saudi Arabia enjoy strong defense ties and regularly engage in joint air, ground and sea exercises
  • Apart from defense and security ties, Pakistan enjoys strong economic and trade relations with Saudi Arabia

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Navy Ship (PNS) Babur has visited the Jeddah port and conducted a joint exercise with Saudi Arabia’s Al-Riyadh frigate to strengthen mutual cooperation between the two countries, the Pakistani military said on Wednesday.
Upon arrival at the Jeddah port, the Pakistani naval ship was received by Pakistani diplomats and officials of the Royal Saudi Navy, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Pakistani military’s media wing.
On the occasion, the commanding officer of PNS Babur met with Deputy Western Fleet Commander, Rear Admiral Yahya Mohammad Majrashi, of the Royal Saudi Navy.
“During the meeting, issues of mutual interest, including maritime cooperation between the two countries, were discussed,” the ISPR said in a statement.

In this handout combination of photographs, taken and released by Director General Public Relations Pakistan Navy on June 19, 2024, Pakistan navy officials brief Royal Saudi Naval Forces personnel onboard PNS Babur in Jeddah. (Pakistan Navy)

“At the end of the visit, PNS Babur participated in a naval exercise with Royal Saudi Naval Forces ship, HMS Al-Riyadh.”
The ISPR said the passage exercise, named PASSEX, was aimed at promoting mutual cooperation and strong friendly relations between the two countries.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy strong defense ties and bilateral security cooperation. The two nations regularly engage in joint air, ground, and sea military exercises, while several cadets from the Kingdom, along with counterparts from other Middle Eastern nations, annually visit Pakistan to undergo specialized military training.
Apart from defense and security ties, Pakistan enjoys strong economic and trade relations with Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom is home to over 2.7 million Pakistani expatriates, serving as the top source of remittances for the cash-strapped South Asian country.

In this handout combination of photographs, taken and released by Director General Public Relations Pakistan Navy on June 19, 2024, Pakistan naval ship Babur conducts passage exercise with Royal Saudi Naval Forces in Jeddah. (Pakistan Navy)

 


Pakistan search for missing Japanese climbers called off after body recovered

Pakistan search for missing Japanese climbers called off after body recovered
Updated 19 June 2024
Follow

Pakistan search for missing Japanese climbers called off after body recovered

Pakistan search for missing Japanese climbers called off after body recovered
  • The climbers, Ryuseki Hiraoka and Atsushi Taguchi, went missing on June 10 while climbing 7,027-meter Spantik Peak
  • Pakistan is home to five of the world’s tallest mountains that loom above 8,000 meters, including K2 and Nanga Parbat

ISLAMABAD: A search operation in northern Pakistan to locate a Japanese climber, who went missing along with another one, has been called off after one body was recovered, the Pakistan Adventure Tour company said on Tuesday.
The climbers, Ryuseki Hiraoka and Atsushi Taguchi, went missing on June 10 while climbing Spantik Peak, which stands at 7,027 meters above the sea level.
On June 15, the civil administration of the Gilgit-Baltistan region in northern Pakistan confirmed one body had been found.
The search for the second climber continued with the help of a team, including two Pakistan Army helicopters, crewed by high-altitude climbers and experts.
“We tried our best and continued search for the second body but we could not see it because a lot of snow had fallen there and there were lots of crevasses there,” said local climber and member of search team, Imtiaz Sadpara, at a news conference at Deputy Commissioner’s office in Shigar.
Spantik, more popularly called the Golden Peak, is largely viewed as more accessible and straightforward. The Japanese climbers were attempting to summit it in the Karakoram Range.
Pakistan is home to five of the world’s tallest mountains that loom above 8,000 meters, including K2 and Nanga Parbat that are known for their treacherous climbs.
Last Sunday, Pakistan’s army rescued Estonian climber Saama Marie who injured her leg whilst attempting to climb the Nanga Parbat peak in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Marie last updated followers on her Facebook account on June 9 that she had camped on the slope of Ganalo at an altitude of 4,900 meters. There had been no update from her since then.
In a video shared by Pakistani state broadcaster PTV, two men were seen carrying an injured Marie to a Pakistani army helicopter from the snowcapped mountain.
“I have a leg injury and I have currently escaped by [the help of] Pakistan Army helicopter, taken from Nanga Parbat base camp to Skardu hospital,” she said.
Pakistan’s mountains attract climbers from all parts of the world. According to official figures, over 8,900 foreigners visited the remote Gilgit-Baltistan region in 2023 where the summer climbing season runs from early June till late August.
— With input from Reuters


Senior journalist shot dead in northwest Pakistan over Eid holiday

Senior journalist shot dead in northwest Pakistan over Eid holiday
Updated 19 June 2024
Follow

Senior journalist shot dead in northwest Pakistan over Eid holiday

Senior journalist shot dead in northwest Pakistan over Eid holiday
  • Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has been the scene of a number of attacks on police, security forces in recent weeks
  • Islamabad has blamed the surge in violence on militants operating out of neighboring Afghanistan, Kabul denies the allegation

PESHAWAR: Unidentified assailants on Tuesday shot dead a senior journalist, Khalil Jibran, in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, a police official said, in the latest incident of violence in the restive region during the three-day Eid Al-Adha holiday.
The northwestern Pakistani province, which borders Afghanistan, has been the scene of a number of attacks on police, security forces and anti-polio vaccination teams in recent weeks.
Jibran, a former president of the Landi Kotal Press club in KP’s Khyber tribal district, was en route to his home in the district headquarters of Landi Kotal, when he came under attack by the suspects.
“He [Jibran] was coming back from his friend’s hujra [guest room] after dinner when he was killed by unknown assailants,” Saleem Abbas Kulachi, Khyber district police chief, told Arab News
“Police found bullet shells of M4 and AK-47 [rifles] at the scene,” he added.
The development came days after the Pakistani Taliban or the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) announced a three-day ceasefire with the government in Islamabad from June 17 till June 19 on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha.
KP Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur condemned Jibran’s killing and extended his heartfelt sympathies to the deceased’s family, according to his office.
“Police have been asked to take necessary action for immediate arrest of the suspects,” it said.
Journalist bodies have announced a protest against Jibran’s killing across all tribal districts of the province on Thursday.
Separately, three bodies were found in Mir Ali area of North Waziristan tribal district, while a religious party leader, who was injured in a shooting in the South Waziristan district last week, succumbed to his wounds on Tuesday, according to officials. No group claimed responsibility for the killings.
Pakistan has witnessed a spike in militant violence in its two western provinces, KP and Balochistan, since the TTP called off its fragile truce with the government in November 2022.
Islamabad has blamed the surge in violence on militants operating out of neighboring Afghanistan. Kabul denies the allegation and says rising violence in Pakistan is a domestic issue of Islamabad.


So close to death: NGO captain recounts sea rescue involving Pakistani, other migrants

So close to death: NGO captain recounts sea rescue involving Pakistani, other migrants
Updated 19 June 2024
Follow

So close to death: NGO captain recounts sea rescue involving Pakistani, other migrants

So close to death: NGO captain recounts sea rescue involving Pakistani, other migrants
  • One boat with 51 survivors, 10 bodies was intercepted about 90km south of the island of Lampedusa, Italy
  • Another was spotted about 200 kilometers east of the southern Italian region of Calabria, rescuers said

ROME: Saving migrants from one of the shipwrecks that have left dozens dead or missing off Italy’s shores involved walking through bodies to find barely alive survivors, the NGO captain involved in one of the rescues said on Tuesday.
One boat with 51 survivors and 10 bodies was intercepted about 90 kilometers (56 miles) south of the island of Lampedusa, while another was spotted about 200 kilometers east of the southern Italian region of Calabria.
Eleven survivors from the second shipwreck and the body of a woman were taken ashore on Monday, and aid groups said 64 people, including 26 children, were unaccounted for. The Italian coast guard recovered three more bodies at sea on Tuesday.
Captain Ingo Werth of German aid group RESQSHIP, which operates the “Nadir” boat, led the first rescue in the early hours of Monday, picking up the 51 survivors from a “totally overcrowded wooden boat,” he told Reuters.
Before leaving, his team inspected the lower deck and found what seemed to be about a dozen bodies. A medical officer then said, “There’s a guy who’s breathing, he makes some noise, I hear some noise.”
Wearing gas masks, crew members went below to pick up the man and take him to safety. Another survivor was found in a second inspection, but getting him out was more complicated for the captain and a nurse who went with him.
“The (migrants’) boat was almost capsizing and so it was a potential grave (for rescuers),” said Werth.
The captain and the nurse left the hold with the bodies to return above deck, and managed to save the man below by pulling him through a hole made above his head using an axe and a hammer.
“There was that much life left in both of them,” Werth said about the survivors, using a hand gesture to signify they were close to death. He said the body temperature on one was below 32 degrees.
The pair has been airlifted to a hospital in Palermo and are recovering, he added.
The two shipwrecks have confirmed the central Mediterranean’s reputation as one of the world’s most dangerous migration routes. According to UN data, more than 23,500 migrants have died or gone missing in its waters since 2014.
According to RESQSHIP, the migrants picked up south of Lampedusa had set off from the Libyan port of Zuwarah and spent two days at sea. They told rescuers half of the passengers were from Bangladesh, with others from Pakistan, Syria and Egypt.
The migrants from the other shipwreck off Calabria set sail from Turkiye, spent eight days at sea, and came from Iran, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, according to statements from UN agencies and the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) charity.
Survivors are “very confused” and don’t know “who among their relatives is alive or dead at sea. Entire families have been destroyed. Some have lost a wife, a child, a husband, a friend or a grandchild,” MSF staffer Cecilia Momi said.


4.7-magnitude earthquake jolts Islamabad, parts of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province

4.7-magnitude earthquake jolts Islamabad, parts of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province
Updated 19 June 2024
Follow

4.7-magnitude earthquake jolts Islamabad, parts of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province

4.7-magnitude earthquake jolts Islamabad, parts of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province
  • Tremors were felt in Peshawar, Swat, Malakand, Dir and other areas at 4:17am
  • However, no loss of life or property was reported in the wake of the earthquake

ISLAMABAD: A 4.7 magnitude earthquake jolted the Pakistani capital of Islamabad and parts of the country’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistani state media reported on Wednesday.
Tremors were felt in various areas, including Peshawar, Swat, Malakand, North Waziristan, Parachinar, Lower Dir, Hangu, Charsadda and Swabi, at around 4:17am Pakistan time.
“The center of earthquake was region of South-East Afghanistan and depth was 98 kilometers,” the state-run Radio Pakistan broadcaster reported, citing the National Seismic Monitoring Center in Islamabad.
However, no loss of life or property was reported in its wake.
Earlier this month, an earthquake of 3.2 magnitude jolted parts of the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi.
Its epicenter lied 15 kilometers northeast of the city at a depth of 22 kilometers, according to the National Seismic Monitoring Center.