Air force to rescue Pakistani students from Kyrgyzstan
In a rapidly worsening law and order in the Central Asian state of Kyrgyzstan, a Pakistan Air Force C-130 aircraft would leave Monday on a rescue mission in the ethnic riots plagued country after two of the Pakistani hostage students were killed.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi Monday confirmed that a Pakistani air force plane would fly the Pakistani students back home from Kyrgyzstan. He also said so far 40 of the 247 trapped students were brought to safety. However, the timeframe was not disclosed by the official sources.
Pakistani embassy in Bishkek is collecting all the students to a safer place, said Abdul Basit, spokesman of Pakistani Foreign Office, adding that the foreign office is in constant touch with Kyrgyz authorities.
Media reported that the students have been moved to an airport for an onward journey to Pakistan, including three female students from Pakistan.
Ali Raza, a final year electronic engineering student from eastern Punjab province and a female final year medical student from southern Sindh province were killed on Sunday, as a gang of fiercely armed extremist had taken dozens of Pakistani student hostage.
The foreign minister said that some 1,500 Pakistani citizens lived in Kyrgyzstan.
On the question of seeking Russian help, former Pakistani foreign secretary Najamuddin Sheikh told media that Russia so far has said that it would extend any assistance after consulting other Central Asian states.
"A rescue through an aircraft is still not out of danger, as I see the situation is going from bad to worst," Sheikh said.