Kyrgyz Ambassador Explains What Led to Attack on Foreign Students in Bishkek

Thu May 30 2024
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ISLAMABAD: Kyrgyz Republic’s Ambassador to Pakistan, Ulanbek Totuiaev, has explained the reasons that led to the attack on foreign students, including Pakistanis, in Kyrgyzstan’s hostels on May 19.

Speaking to the media at the Kyrgyz Republic Embassy in Islamabad, Ambassador Totuiaev recounted that the unrest originated on May 13 when a scuffle erupted between local and foreign residents in a hostel in the Central Asian’s nation capital Bishkek.

Following the incident, law enforcement authorities initiated legal proceedings under the charge of “Hooliganism” leading to the arrest of all those involved in the brawl.

However, tensions escalated when a video of the incident surfaced on social media platforms on May 17, prompting a protest demonstration in Bishkek the next day. The protesting crowd were demanding that the foreigners involved in the incident be brought to justice.

Kyrgyz law enforcement authorities promptly intervened, and apprehended four Egyptian nationals and ten locals, while also removing the Chief and nine officers of the Internal Affairs Directorate of the Sverdlovsk region after the riots.

He said that the situation was completely under the control of law enforcement agencies. The safety of citizens and public order were ensured.

Furthermore, Ambassador Totuiaev stressed the importance of media responsibility in reporting accurate information, cautioning against the propagation of unverified claims that could exacerbate tensions. He highlighted deliberate attempts by external actors to spread misinformation, particularly targeting Pakistan, and urged for reliance on official sources for authentic updates.

Diplomatic efforts ensued, with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyz Republic, Almaz Imangaziev, meeting with Pakistani Ambassador Hassan Ali Zaigam to apprise him of the situation and request cooperation in ensuring accurate media coverage.

Subsequent engagements between Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan, Mohammad Ishaq Dar, and Kyrgyz officials solidified commitments to bilateral cooperation. Discussions extended beyond the resolution of the recent incident to encompass enhancing economic, cultural, and humanitarian ties between the two nations.

During his visit to Bishkek, Minister Dar also visited Pakistani citizens undergoing medical treatment, reinforcing the bonds between the two nations. Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Kyrgyz Republic, Edil Baisalov, assured Minister Dar of continued support for foreign students and emphasized accountability for those responsible for the unrest.

President of Kyrgyz Republic, Sadyr Japarov, echoed these sentiments, reaffirming the government’s dedication to peace and fostering strong ties with Pakistan. He assured potential visitors of Kyrgyzstan’s safety, underlining the nation’s rich cultural heritage and hospitality.

The incident underscores the importance of cooperation and accurate information dissemination in maintaining harmonious relations between nations, as both Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan remain committed to mutual prosperity and understanding.

He said that after the unfortunate incident, President Sadyr Japarov ordered the law enforcement agencies to control the situation, engage in continuous dialogue with the youth, and prioritize stabilization efforts without resorting to violence.

President Japarov expressed the Kyrgyz people’s eagerness to strengthen ties with their Pakistani counterparts, citing shared history, religion, and cultural affinities.

Describing the bilateral relations between Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan as friendly, the president in his address highlighted their rich history and commonalities in religion, culture, language, and traditions. Over the years, both countries have facilitated numerous visits across various levels and have actively collaborated within regional and international frameworks.

President Japarov reassured potential visitors not to be deterred by the isolated incident on May 18, emphasizing that it does not reflect the overall safety or the warm hospitality of the Kyrgyz people.

Highlighting Kyrgyzstan’s renowned hospitality, President Japarov extended a welcoming invitation to visitors, assuring them of a warm reception characterized by kindness and a rich cultural tradition of hospitality. Visitors to Kyrgyzstan, he assured, would be embraced with open arms and made to feel at home amidst the nation’s scenic beauty and cultural vibrancy.

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