More than 2,400 Pakistani students and families stranded in war-hit Ukraine have been evacuated to Poland, said Pakistani ambassador to Ukraine Dr Noel Israel Khokhar.
In a voice message on his Twitter handle, Dr Khokhar said that there were about 3,000 Pakistani students in Ukraine and the bulk of which had been safely evacuated despite the difficult situation in the country. He maintained that some 500 to 600 Pakistanis are still stuck in Ukraine, adding that the embassy was taking measures to safely evacuate them. Fifty to 60 Pakistani students in two to three groups were to be transported to Poland on Saturday, he added.
“All Pakistanis are safe and we are trying to guide them under the difficult situation,” Khokhar said, citing the closure of flights, banking systems and non-availability of transport and fuel.
Sharing the latest details, the ambassador said a total of 62 people including 21 family members of the embassy staff had already been evacuated whereas 59 people were on the Ukraine-Poland border crossing.
He said another 79 people including 67 students and 12 family members of embassy staff were on their way to Ukraine-Poland border. A batch of 104 students from Kharkiv was arriving via train while 20 other students were being evacuated from Kyiv on a bus arranged by the embassy.
In a bid to accelerate the evacuation process, the Pakistani embassy in Ukraine has formally requested the Poland government to open more crossing points for pedestrians on its border with Ukraine, confirmed the Foreign Office.
At Pakistan’s request, Poland has opened all eight border crossings for pedestrians, said the FO. Earlier, Poland had opened only one border crossing point for pedestrians, it added.