The Embassy of Pakistan in Ukraine said Friday the evacuation of almost 98% of Pakistanis has been completed as the country faces off with Russia, forcing hundreds of thousands to flee to neighbouring states.
Russia and Ukraine have agreed on the need to set up humanitarian corridors and a possible ceasefire around them for fleeing civilians, both sides said after talks on Thursday, in their first sign of progress on any issue since the invasion.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine has entered its second week. The number of refugees who have fled Ukraine has risen to more than 1 million, the United Nations said. Hundreds of Russian soldiers and Ukrainian civilians have been killed.
“The Embassy of Pakistan Ukraine has safely evacuated 98% of Pakistanis from Ukraine. Now only those few (around 30) Pakistanis are left in Ukraine who are stuck in areas of intense fight,” the mission said in an update on Twitter.
The statement added that the embassy has approached both Ukraine and Russia for opening up a humanitarian corridor that will enable it to evacuate the remaining Pakistanis.
Pakistan has shifted its operations from Kyiv after the Ukrainian capital came under heavy shelling and is providing all services from Ternopil.
There were nearly 3,000 Pakistanis in Ukraine when the war broke out last month.
On Thursday, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that Pakistan helped “distressed” Indian students fleeing the Ukraine war on “humanitarian grounds”.
FM Qureshi had said he has spoken with the foreign ministers of Romania, Hungary, and Poland regarding the safe exit of Pakistani students from the war zone and they have assured Pakistan of their support in this regard.
“I talked with the Romanian foreign minister and sought an update from him on the latest situation of the conflict. Romania has a long 400-mile border with Ukraine and my discussion was focused on the assistance of our students fleeing war.”
The foreign minister had said that most Pakistani students have left the country.
“We are working hard to ensure their safe return and our embassies are playing a key role. You must have seen videos of our embassy [in Lviv] helping Indian students fleeing Ukraine where they were provided food,” FM Qureshi had added.
“They are kids in distress due to war and we helped them whatever was possible on a humanitarian basis.”