LAHORE (Web Desk) – Foreign Minister (FM) Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday held a telephonic conversation with Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, and shared Pakistan’s serious concerns over Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Taking to Twitter, the foreign minister said he underscored the importance of de-escalation and the indispensability of diplomacy. He also appreciated the role of Ukrainian authorities in the evacuation of the Pakistani community and students.
In a statement, the Foreign Office (FO) said that Qureshi “shared Pakistan’s perspective in detail, reiterating serious concern at the situation, underscoring the importance of de-escalation, and stressing the indispensability of diplomacy”.
Qureshi also noted that Prime Minister Imran Khan, during his recent visit to Moscow, had regretted the latest situation between Russia and Ukraine and said that Pakistan had hoped diplomacy could avert a military conflict.
“Qureshi stressed that conflict was not in anyone’s interest and that developing countries were always hit the hardest economically in case of conflict. The foreign minister underlined Pakistan’s belief that disputes should be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy,” the FO statement said.
During the Moscow visit, PM Imran had conveyed to Russian President Vladimir Putin that he regretted the situation developing between Russia and Ukraine, adding that Islamabad had hoped that military conflict could be averted through a diplomatic solution.
A communique issued after the meeting between the two leaders stated that the prime minister stressed that conflict was not in anyone’s interest and that developing countries were always hardest hit economically in case of conflict. “He underlined Pakistan’s belief that disputes should be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy.”
As the Russia-Ukraine conflict escalates, the embassy has provided updates regarding their evacuation efforts. The body stated that 125 Pakistani citizens have been successfully evacuated so far, while 376 have reached the Ukraine-Poland border, four are at the Ukraine-Romania border and nine at the Ukraine-Hungary border.
On the other side, Dmytro acknowledged what FM had said and ensured the safe rerturn of Pakistani students living in Ukraine.
Pakistani Ambassador to Ukraine
Noel Israel Khokhar, Pakistan s ambassador to Ukraine, said there were about 3,000 Pakistani students in Ukraine. Most students have already left Ukraine. There are now only six or seven hundred students in Ukraine.
He said there were many difficulties in the process of withdrawing from Ukraine. Flights are closed in Ukraine, petrol is not available at the pumps, banking system is down. Firing and missile attacks are taking place, yet the evacuation of all Pakistanis, including students, is underway. Soon all Pakistanis will be deported from Ukraine.
According to the Foreign Office, so far 125 Pakistanis have been evacuated from Ukraine, including 21 families of the embassy staff, 376 Pakistanis are at the Ukrainian-Polish border crossing and 30 are now on the way to the border crossing.
Most of the students trapped in Ukraine are seen complaining to the Pakistani embassy. The Pakistani students who arrived at the border from Ukraine got off the bus and went back while their names were not included in the border crossing list which caused them trouble.