First commercial flight of PIA lands in Kabul since Taliban takeover

12:33 PM | 13 Sep, 2021
First commercial flight of PIA lands in Kabul since Taliban takeover
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KABUL – The flight of Pakistan International Airlines has touched down in the Afghan capital on Monday (today), the first since the Taliban retook power in the war-raked country.

Reports quoting a journalist of an international wire agency said “There was hardly anyone on the plane, around 10 people, maybe more staff than passengers”.

The national air carrier of Pakistan was earlier keen to resume regular commercial services between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The airport in the Afghan capital was at the center of evacuation led by the US as more than 120,000 people, including many Afghans, left the country in frenzy. The evacuation ended with the withdrawal of US troops on August 30.

On August 22, PIA announced that it had ‘temporarily suspended’ flights between Kabul and Islamabad due to lack of facilities and ‘heaps of garbage’ on the airstrip in a bid to avoid any tragic accident.

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Following the takeover, the Taliban sought technical assistance from Qatar and Turkey to make the airport operational again.

Reports in international media quoting sources said Qatar Airways operated several charter flights out of Kabul last week, carrying mostly foreigners and Afghans who missed out on the evacuation before August 30.