Pakistan protests to Kyrgyz diplomat after violence

KARACHI/BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (Reuters) - Pakistan's foreign ministry said on Saturday it had summoned and handed a note of protest to Kyrgyzstan's top diplomat in the country in response to violence against Pakistani students in Bishkek.

Kyrgyz police said they had mobilised forces in the Central Asian nation's capital on Friday to quell the violence, in which hundreds of Kyrgyz men attacked buildings housing foreign students, including Pakistanis.

The attack, the police said, was prompted by foreigners - whose nationality was not immediately clear - beating up locals in the city.

"It was impressed on the Kyrgyz charge d'affaires that the Kyrgyz government should take all possible measures to ensure the safety and security of Pakistani students and citizens," Pakistan's foreign ministry said in a statement.

The statement said the Kyrgyz health ministry had confirmed four Pakistanis were given first aid and discharged while one was still under treatment for injury.

Pakistan said it had set up emergency hotlines for those affected by the violence.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in a statement expressed concern over the incident, saying Islamabad would fly back any of Pakistani citizens who wanted to leave the country immediately.

(Reporting by Ariba Shahid in Karachi; Aigerim Turgunbayeva in Bishkek)