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Afghanistan: First Pakistan International Airlines flight since foreign troop withdrawal lands in Kabul


PIA spokesman Abdullah Khan said in a statement that the service was a “special flight” meant to create “goodwill” with the people of Afghanistan and to “strengthen humanitarian efforts.”

The spokesperson clarified to CNN that this was “not an aid flight.” The PIA said the flight was handled by Kabul airport staff and that the flight’s name and number had been posted on a board at the airport.

However, it is still unclear whether it could be described as a “commercial” flight, as it is unclear whether people can actually buy a plane ticket.

PIA CEO Arshad Malik said the company would “hopefully” be able to restore full services soon.

Together with two Qatar Airways passenger plane, both carrying more than 100 foreign nationals, departed from Kabul and landed in Doha last week, a flight signaling that at least some foreign nationals wishing to leave Afghanistan will be able to do so. weeks of uncertainty.

Civilians have been scrambling to find safe passage from the country since the Taliban takeover in mid-August has thrown the US-led evacuation effort into disarray.

The US, along with about 100 other countries, said it would keep the Taliban on its promise that they will allow everyone to leave country after the withdrawal of US troops. The return of commercial flights is an important part of that promise.
The PIA plane to Kabul on Monday was the first to land in Afghanistan from Pakistan since the last US troop withdrawal in August.

The PIA said the Boeing 777 had left Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital city, at 6:45 a.m. local time after the Afghan civil aviation authorities and PIA staff had made special arrangements. separate.

A spokesperson told CNN. PIA’s CEO, Air Commodore Jawad Zafar, was also on board.

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