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Monday, September 20, 2021

1st Overseas Industrial Flight Since Taliban Takeover Lands in Kabul

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A world business flight touched down within the Afghan capital on Monday, the primary because the Taliban retook energy final month.

Kabul airport was left trashed after overseas forces accomplished their chaotic withdrawal on August 30, evacuating greater than 120,000 folks from the nation.

The Taliban have since been scrambling to get it working once more with technical help from Qatar and different nations. “There was hardly anybody on the aircraft, round 10 folks… perhaps extra workers than passengers,” mentioned an AFP journalist aboard the Pakistan Worldwide Airways (PIA) flight from Islamabad.

The resumption of economic flights will probably be a key check for the hardline Islamist group, who’ve repeatedly promised to permit Afghans with the precise paperwork to depart the nation freely.

Many NATO nations admitted that that they had run out of time to evacuate 1000’s of at-risk Afghans earlier than the withdrawal deadline — agreed between the USA and the Taliban.

A PIA spokesman mentioned on the weekend that the airline was eager to renew common business providers, however it was too quickly to say how ceaselessly flights between the 2 capitals would function.

Qatar Airways operated a number of constitution flights out of Kabul final week, carrying principally foreigners and Afghans who missed out on the evacuation.

An Afghan airline resumed home providers on September 3. “This can be a massive second. We’re very excited,” mentioned one airport worker, wearing a blue shalwar kameez and orange high-visibility vest.

“It’s a hopeful day. Perhaps different airways will see this and resolve to return again.”

A bus painted with a “Welcome to Afghanistan” was ready to ferry the passengers from the aircraft to the terminal, however in the long run the brand new arrivals walked.

Round 100 passengers had been ready to catch the return flight to Islamabad — principally family of staffers with worldwide organisations such because the World Financial institution, based on airport floor workers.

Passenger halls, airbridges and technical infrastructure had been badly broken within the days after the Taliban rolled into Kabul on August 15, when 1000’s of individuals stormed the airport within the hope of fleeing.

Tens of 1000’s of Afghans worry reprisals for serving to overseas powers throughout the 20-year US-led occupation, however the Taliban insist they’ve granted a normal amnesty to everybody — together with the safety forces they fought in opposition to.

The Taliban have promised a milder type of rule this time, however have moved swiftly to crush dissent, together with firing within the air to disperse current protests by girls calling for the precise to training and work.

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