International

Pakistan temporarily suspends flight operations to Afghanistan

By PTI

ISLAMABAD: According to media reports, Pakistan has temporarily suspended Kabul flight operations and is not evacuating anyone at the moment.

State-run Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) was the only commercial airline operating flights to and from Kabul during the past few days to help evacuate diplomats and foreign nationals from Afghanistan after the Taliban seized power in the war. – The country cracked last week.

Geo News reported on Saturday, August 21, 2021 that the PIA on Saturday “temporarily suspended Kabul flight operations due to lack of facilities and garbage dumps at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport”.

Citing sources close to the developments, it said that there were no immigration officers and security checks at the Kabul airport.

The sanitation workers were also not performing their duties since the Taliban took control of the country.

Sources feared that the garbage on the airport’s tarmac could lead to a tragic accident.

The report quoted sources as saying that the security of the Kabul airport is with the US and that they were only interested in military aircraft.

Radio Pakistan also reported that PIA has “temporarily” suspended its flight operations to Afghanistan due to non-availability of essential facilities at Kabul airport.

The report, quoting PIA spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez, said flight operations would remain suspended for a few days.

“We have spoken to the Afghan Civil Aviation Authority at the earliest for restoration of all necessary facilities at Kabul airport so that PIA can resume its flight operations,” Hafeez said. The PIA has so far evacuated 1,500 people, including journalists, UN officials. and Pakistani nationals, in five flights.

The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan last Sunday, two weeks before the US prepared to complete its troop withdrawal after two decades of war.

Insurgents stormed the country, capturing all major cities in a matter of days, as Afghan security forces trained and equipped by the US and its allies melted away.

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