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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Saturday called for de-escalation and emphasised the need for a diplomatic solution to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. According to a statement of the Foreign Office, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood met with Ambassador of Ukraine to Pakistan Markian Chuchuk and shared Pakistan’s perspective on the situation.

It stated that the foreign secretary emphasised the importance of de-escalation, dialogue, and diplomacy for a diplomatic solution. It further stated that the foreign secretary also discussed with the Ambassador of Ukraine the safety and security of Pakistanis in Ukraine and the evacuation arrangements.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Embassy in Ukraine continued to evacuate stranded Pakistanis to neighbouring Poland and Romania following Russia starting a large-scale invasion of Ukraine by land, sea and air on the morning of 24 February 2022.

According to the details shared by the Pakistan Embassy in Ukraine with the media, 62 people including 21 family members of the Embassy staff already evacuated, while 59 people were on the border crossing (Ukraine-Poland border) on Saturday.

Qureshi urges diplomatic solution of Russia-Ukraine conflict

It further stated that 79 people are on the way to borders now – 67 students towards the Ukraine-Poland border and 12 family members of Embassy staff towards the Ukraine-Romania border. It further stated that 104 students from Kharkiv while 20 students from Kyiv were also being evacuated.

As of 26 February 2022 at 1230hrs, the Embassy further stated the total Pakistanis in Ukraine are 4,000 community members, mostly married to Ukrainians, who have already left Ukraine on the advice of the Mission.

The total of 3,000 students, the majority of the students have already left Ukraine on the advice of the Embassy and the remaining 600 are being evacuated. The Embassy further stated that the Mission, since day one of war, has established different focal points for facilitation and evacuation of Pakistani citizens from Ukraine: Embassy of Pakistan in Ternopil Contact details: 00380636968264, 00923329184350 00380638282984 ii. Focal Point at Kyiv +380681734727 Contact number of the facilitation Desk in Lviv +380932197175 and +380637019154.

The Mission has been providing accommodation to students in Ternopil and transportation wherever possible especially from Lviv to border crossings.

The Embassy further stated that the students still in Ukraine are the ones who did not leave despite repeated advice, adding that the embassy has instructed the remaining students to come to Ternopil or Lviv for further evacuation.

An approximate number of Pakistani students in different cities of Ukraine are: Kharkiv 250, Poltava 60, Kyiv 240, Vinnytsia 60, Summy 15. Ternopil airfield was attacked on Saturday in the morning and there is no safe place in Ukraine. Even cities like Lviv and Ternopil which are in the west of Ukraine have been attacked. As of February 26, trains tickets are available from Kharkiv to Lviv and Ternopil, the Embassy further stated.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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