Kerala Kaumudi Online
Monday, 06 April 2020 8.10 PM IST

Learn from Indians, shame on you, Pak students appeal for help and slams govt


NEW DELHI: As India flew special Air India jets to evacuate the stranded Indians from China amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak, Pakistani students were seen appealing for help and evacuation and slamming the Pakistan government over its refusal to save the lot.

India on Saturday and Sunday evacuated Indians from China's Wuhan city, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak that has already claimed over 300 lives in the country.

The Pakistani government, on the other hand, has said that it will not evacuate its citizens from the coronavirus-hit Wuhan city to show "solidarity" with the Imran Khan government's all-weather ally China.

Several students stranded in Wuhan, who saw their Indian counterparts being evacuated, have released videos on social media slamming their government and crying for help.

In one such video that has gone viral, a Pakistani student shows how Indian students are being evacuated in a bus to be flown out of Wuhan. "Bangladeshis will also be evacuated later. Then it is us Pakistanis who are stranded here and our government says we won't evacuate you even if you die, get infected or are still alive. Shame on you Pakistan government, learn something from the Indians," the student at a Wuhan university can be heard saying.

In another video, three women students wearing masks can be seen appealing to the people of Pakistan asking for help. The women say their families in Pakistan are also suffering because of the crisis and they are stranded in Wuhan with no food available too as the city is in a lockdown.

Muhammad Rauf, 30, a Pakistani master's student, told Reuters he and around 40 others were locked in their Wuhan dormitory for all but four hours a day.

"How long will the lockdown be?... What will we do? Just count down our days?" he said, adding they had been calling for an evacuation plan from their government for ten days.

According to Reuters, another Pakistani student in Wuhan, who declined to be identified because he feared reprisals from authorities, said the students had been in contact with their embassy but it had not responded in two days.

"They say that we cannot evacuate. Why can't they evacuate us? Other countries have evacuated," he said. "We are thankful to the Chinese government ... but we are not the responsibility of the Chinese government. We are the responsibility of our government."

There are up to 800 Pakistanis studying in various universities in Wuhan - a city of 11 million people that has been quarantined by the Chinese authorities.

Pakistan has decided not to evacuate its nationals from China in accordance with the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza said.

"We believe that right now, it is in the interest of our loved ones in China (to stay there). It is in the largest interest of the region, world, country that we don't evacuate them now," he was quoted as saying by Dawn News.

On Wednesday, Mirza confirmed that up to four Pakistani students in China were diagnosed with the coronavirus. Mirza also said that the Pakistan government's decision not to evacuate its people from Wuhan did not mean that it didn't care about them.

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