Pakistani airline PIA suspends flights between Pakistan and the Afghan capital Kabul due to intimidating Taliban meddling, Reuters news agency reported.
Just last Tuesday, dozens of Afghan interpreters who worked for the Netherlands were evacuated to Pakistan on a PIA flight. The Pakistanis are also counting on the cooperation of the Pakistanis for new evacuation flights. PIA’s decision seems to throw a spanner in the works.
“We are suspending our flights to Kabul as of today due to the aggressive approach of the authorities,” a PIA spokesperson told Reuters. The Taliban is demanding that the PIA bring flight prices back to pre-seizure levels by the extremists. Those prices have increased twentyfold since August. The new rulers threaten with a no-fly zone if the PIA does not adjust prices.
The Taliban would also change flight schedules at will and grant or deny permission for aircraft to take off or land at the last minute. The PIA staff in the Afghan capital is said to be regularly intimidated by Taliban commanders. The Pakistani airline is virtually the only one that operates flights to Kabul.
In The Hague it was just decided this week that 2100 Afghans may come to the Netherlands. It concerns people who have worked with the Netherlands or Dutch people in the past, and their immediate family. Their only option to leave the country by plane is the route via Pakistan. They cannot use the evacuation route via Qatar, because that country keeps the border closed for Afghans who do not have Dutch relatives.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced this afternoon that a group of 29 Afghans recently traveled overland from Afghanistan to Pakistan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against this route because of the great risks. The 29 left Pakistan for the Netherlands today.
Earlier today it became clear once again how much danger Afghan interpreters face in their own country under the Taliban regime. One of the interpreters on the Dutch evacuation list was shot dead by Taliban fighters yesterday, according to his family.
Pakistan airline suspends flights to Kabul, evacuation of interpreters in danger
Source link Pakistan airline suspends flights to Kabul, evacuation of interpreters in danger