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Pakistani Moazam Khan emerges as a hero for over 2500 Indians evacuated from Ukraine


With over 76000 foreign students in Ukraine, India accounts for the highest portion with about 14000 students among the 20000 India Nationals in Ukraine.  

As Ukraine is facing an invasion by Russia, many students were left stranded with hardly any help or support by their local authorities. 

On 24 February Ukraine halted all civilian flights when the invasion began.

By March 2 an Indian student and another student from Algeria died in Kharkiv amidst the shelling. 

According to the Indian foreign ministry, around 8,000 Indians had already left Ukraine by March 2.

With the war intensifying, travelling to the boarders of Poland and Romania had became a challenge. 

Amid the chaos a Pakistani student stranded in the war-hit country was rescued by the Indian authorities.

Shafique expressed her gratitude towards the Indian embassy in Kyiv and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for their support.

"I want to thank the Indian embassy of Kyiv for supporting us all the way here as we were stuck in a very difficult situation and I also want to thank the Prime Minister of India for supporting us. Hope we get home safely because of the Indian embassy," she said.

Official sources said besides the Pakistani woman, Asma Shafique, a Nepalese citizen, two Tunisian and 13 Bangladeshi nationals were rescued by India, along with nearly 700 Indian citizens.

While the Governments are doing their best in the rescue efforts A Pakistani tour operator Moazam Khan emerges as a hero for many Indians. 

Nitesh Singh, founder of Team SOS India that is helping Indians in the evacuation process in Ukraine, managed to get in touch with Moazam Khan and said, "Moazam was like a god-send for our team. He was very helpful and many times did not charge even a single dollar for the Indian students who had no money to pay," Nitesh tells's Syed Firdaus Ashraf.

At last count, Moazam says he had arranged safe passage for 2,500 Indian students stuck in different places in Ukraine.

He said, "I helped around 3500 students from India, Pakistan, Arab and Africa, out of which, around 80% were Indians, I feel blessed that Allah has chosen me as a Zariya (medium). I still get messages from the students and their parents thanking me"

Moazam says, "When I saved the first batch of Indian students, I had no idea the crisis was so huge. However, soon I found that my mobile number had gone viral on many Indian WhatsApp groups. After that I started getting non-stop phone calls in the middle of the night for rescue operations. And till date, I have evacuated 2,500 Indian students."

Hailing from the Tarbela cantonment area near Islamabad, Moazam studied civil engineering in Ukraine, but then gave up his career as a civil engineer to start a bus tour operator business in Ukraine.

Seeing the crisis and demand for buses going up, many Ukrainian bus drivers raised the price of bus tickets to $250 per student to drive them to the Ukraine border but Moazam did not do that.

"I charged them only $20 to $25. I knew these Indian students had no money. In many cases, I didn't take money because they had run out of cash before coming from Kyiv to Ternopil. The biggest high was the blessings that these Indian students's parents used to give me on the phone or send messages thanking me on WhatsApp," he says.

Though he has evacuated 2,500 Indians from Ukraine, Moazam does not want to leave Ukraine because half his family is stuck in Sumy where around 700 Indian students are also still awaiting evacuation.

"My brother's family is from Sumy. They are stuck in that city now, they cannot come. I can arrange for transport for them, but the Russians have laid landmines on the roads. We have no idea which will blast off and where they have placed it," he says.

"Therefore, leaving Sumy is very dangerous now," says Moazam. "When a ceasefire takes effect between Ukraine and Russia, then we can evacuate them."


Article Source: ALAMEENPOST