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HomeNewsPakistan minister discusses regularisation of its workers with Kyrgyz leaders

Pakistan minister discusses regularisation of its workers with Kyrgyz leaders

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Pakistan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Ishaq Dar, met with Kyrgyz leaders in Bishkek to discuss the regularisation of Pakistani workers and address the recent violence against foreign students. The visit included meetings with Kyrgyz officials and injured Pakistani nationals, ensuring the safe return of many to Pakistan.

In a public statement, the Kyrgyz President condemned the violence against foreign students and workers, asserting their value to Kyrgyzstan’s economy. He pledged that such incidents would not be tolerated in the future and promised strict action against any perpetrators.

Dar highlighted the plight of approximately 1,100 Pakistani workers in Kyrgyzstan who had overstayed their tourist visas and were working without legal documentation. While recognising the Kyrgyz government’s right to deport these individuals, Dar requested their regularisation instead. He expressed gratitude to the Kyrgyz Deputy Prime Minister for approving this request, preventing the hardship of deportation for these workers and their families.

The Pakistani government has repatriated 3,233 students through special and commercial flights, with an additional 513 students set to return on federal government-arranged flights and 290 by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, totalling 4,036 students. The government is closely monitoring the situation to ensure the welfare of these students.

Dar also announced the formation of an inquiry committee to investigate the recent mob attack on Pakistani students in Kyrgyzstan. This committee will determine how the events unfolded and assess the response of the Pakistani mission in Kyrgyzstan, with findings expected within two weeks.

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Regarding the future of returning students, Dar acknowledged challenges, particularly concerning the recognition of their medical degrees by the Higher Education Commission (HEC). Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has formed a committee to find solutions and incentivise students to pursue medical studies in Pakistan, addressing these recognition issues.

For the 1,100 undocumented workers in Kyrgyzstan, Dar plans to discuss their situation with the Interior Minister. Additionally, the committee will coordinate with Kyrgyz universities on the possible relocation of students back to Bishkek. A meeting has been scheduled for Friday to discuss these matters.

On Monday, Dar urged his Kyrgyz counterpart, Jeenbek Kulubaev, to take swift action against the perpetrators of the recent attacks on Pakistani students. Thousands of Pakistani students have fled Kyrgyzstan since the May 18 attacks, with more continuing to return. Over 12,000 Pakistanis were studying in the Kyrgyz capital, as reported by a Kyrgyz official in January.

In the early hours of Wednesday (22), a second plane carrying around 200 Pakistani students from Bishkek arrived at Bacha Khan International Airport in Peshawar, arranged by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government. Provincial ministers, the DG of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), and other officials were present to receive the students, along with many parents eagerly awaiting their children’s return. The PDMA also provided transport facilities and began documenting the names of Pakistani students still stranded in Kyrgyzstan.

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