In Kyrgyzstan, “an outpouring of prejudice and hatred” against young Pakistanis

It is one of the five Central Asian republics that appeared on the world map after the breakup of the USSR. A landlocked, middle-income country, Kyrgyzstan even has the most liberal and open political regime in its region.

It has also, for several years, been one of the favorite destinations for young Pakistanis for higher education – particularly for medical courses. Their rush to Kyrgyzstan is linked, among other factors, to the low costs of education there. In Pakistan, a medical degree in a private establishment costs 8 to 9 million rupees (27,000 to 30,000 euros), compared to 4 to 5 million (between 13,000 and 17,000 euros) in Kyrgyzstan.

Unfortunately, despite the progress in literacy and the advancement of democratic values, today’s world is overflowing with religious fundamentalism and xenophobia under the guise of nationalism. It is because of this fanatical nationalism that Pakistani students residing in Kyrgyzstan have found themselves the target of an outpouring of prejudice and hatred from the people of Bishkek (the country’s capital).

Like wildfire

This collective violence was triggered by a rather innocuous video published on social networks, showing the beginning of a fight between students, Kyrgyz and foreigners. Images that spread like wildfire on the

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The Friday Times (Lahore)

Defining itself as “bold, independent and rigorous”, The magazine, founded in 1989 by the famous journalist Najam Sethi, is regularly under pressure from the Pakistani authorities – especially the army. After the Covid-19 crisis, it had to give up its paper publication to become an exclusively online newspaper. Despite these difficulties, it continues to lead its fight for freedom of expression.

The Friday Times does not hesitate to address difficult but crucial issues for today’s Pakistani society, such as Islamism, the political role of the army, the dispute over Kashmir and bilateral relations with India.

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