Around 400 Swat students, who are stranded in Kyrgyzstan, face a shortage of necessary food and supplies due to strict movement restrictions, DawnNewsTV reported Sunday.
Like most countries in the world, Kyrgyzstan has imposed a blockade to stop the spread of the new coronavirus. So far, Kyrgyzstan has recorded 554 cases and five deaths from the new coronavirus, according to John Hopkins University.
Mohammad Ammar, one of the stranded students in Kyrgyzstan, said they had been unable to leave their apartments for the past month, even to buy the necessary supplies. Despite having all valid documents, the police require bribes and do not allow students to leave.
Dr. Salman, a native of Mingora, shared an incident with his friend, who was suffering from abdominal pain.
"He stayed in his apartment, paralyzed with pain, for two days. After two days, when we went to a medical store to get his medications, we were slapped with a fine of 6,000 Kyrgyzstani Som (Rs12,154.85)," said Salman. .
The embassy is also not very helpful, students say. According to the students, when they contacted the Pakistani embassy to inform them of the challenges they face, the staff told them to "bribe the police while you shop so that you (the students) have no problems."
Another student said they had written letters to Federal Minister Murad Saeed, National Assembly President Asad Qaiser, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Prime Minister Mahmood Khan, but to no avail.
"Every time we try to contact them, we get a 'Ok'," said Waqar, a student of Swat's Tehsil Matta.
Another student regretted that even if they ask their parents for money, there is no way they can receive it because the police catch them every time they leave the apartment.
"If ever [go out], the police threaten to send us to a quarantine center or deport us if we don't bribe them, "said Dr. Asim, a student.
"We don't even know the local language, so we have to ask someone to step in."
Another student, Arbaz Khan, said that "they were not safe" as they ran out of food.
"We are from a middle class family," said Khan, a native of Bisham, Shangla. "We talk to our parents every day, but we can't let them know [as they will get worried]. We tell them everything is fine. "
Pakistani students complained that their Indian counterparts were in better shape since their embassy was taking care of them.
The students said they were concerned about how they would observe Ramazan's holy month and urged the government to organize special flights so that they can return home.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Aisha Farooqui, when asked for a comment on the situation, said: "We are aware of the situation of our students in Kyrgyzstan. The embassy in Bishkek is in contact with them." [and is] by providing them with essential food and supplies directly. "
Additionally, the government has said it is making efforts to bring Pakistanis stranded back to other countries, but it currently has limited capacity to do so.
Assistant Prime Minister Moeed Yusuf recently said that in addition to organizing special flights, the government had to ensure that sufficient quarantine facilities were available to all citizens. At the same time, he had assured that the government was trying to establish a system to guarantee that citizens can return as soon as possible.
Last week, Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan had said that 4,000 people will return to Pakistan before April 19.
Additional contribution from Naveed Siddiqui.