As India launches Operation Ganga to evacuate about 15000- 20,000 estimated students studying in the war-hit Ukraine, Pakistan’s government has come under severe criticism for its failure to help its students even though Prime Minister Imran Khan was present in Moscow when it attacked Ukraine.
Following students’ posting angry messages and appealing for evacuation from different parts of Ukraine Pakistan’s embassy claimed they have helped a big group reach the Ternopil Poland border. The embassy claimed it had arranged buses for the students to reach the border from where they would be taken to Warsaw for taking the flight home.
However, students have posted videos on social media to tell their compatriots that the Pakistan embassy was making false claims of helping them. They claimed to have reached the border of their own.
Gul Bukhari, leader of the opposiotion PPP has relased this video of the Pakistani students stuck in Ukraine
یہ سن کر رونگٹے کھڑے ہو جاتے ہیں۔ یہ حال کیا ہے حکومت نے یوکرین میں پھنسے پاکستانی شاگردوں کا۔ ذرا سنئیے pic.twitter.com/wmhjGrM84j— Gul Bukhari (@GulBukhari) February 27, 2022
Some channels claimed the Pakistani students had used the Indian flag to navigate through the war-hit zone as the Russian had given an assurance that Indians will not be hit provided they displayed the flag on their vehicle.
A prominent media house of Pakistan had quoted the government as saying that all the 500 students in Ukraine have been evacuated on the very first day of the conflict. This was contradicted by the students in Ukraine, who, through their social media posts, said that the embassy didn’t contact them nor did its officials attend to their calls.
Dawn quoted Pakistan Foreign Office said that 81 Pakistanis had been moved out of Ukraine. Interestingly out of these 35 were students and 21 families of the embassy staff in Kyiv.
Many Pakistani students have said on social media “their crime is that they are Pakistanis while Indians have been contacted by their embassy.”
Some indians have also shared the video of pakistani students in Ukraine on Twitter:
Students claim there are about 1500 Pakistanis stranded in Ukraine. Of these 500 are in Kharkiv, in eastern Ukraine that is being attacked by the Russian Military and is located farthest from the border with Poland and Romania.
Kharkiv is a difficult evacuation even for India since it involves traversing the entire length of Ukraine – about 1000 miles – to reach the other end.
One more video of Pakistani students speaking of how embassy discriminated against them while hiring a bus for a few chosen ones in Chernobyl has surfaced on Twitter:
Pakistani students— Anurag Singh (@AnuragS78879431) February 27, 2022
The last line
Tudde maar rahe hai army wale... pic.twitter.com/P36QiawwQj
Pakistani leaders have also blasted Imran Khan for not raising the issue about the safe passage to Pakistani students with Russians while he was there on the day of the attack.
Opposition leaders Maryam Nawaz and Sherry Rehman have accused the government of paying no heed to the students stuck in Ukraine.
Pakistani Television anchors are appreciating India’s concern for its civilians in Ukraine. They are highlighting Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking up the issue with both President Vladimir Putin and the Ukrainian president in their short telephonic conversations.
On the other hand, Imran Khan spent 3 hours with Putin and the handout released by his spokesperson at the end of the meeting did not mention anything about the Pakistani students.