First commercial flight lands in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan

Pakistan’s national flag-carrier on Monday ran its first commercial flight to Kabul since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in mid-August.


IMAGE: A member of Taliban security forces stands guard at the international airport in Kabul. Photograph: WANA (West Asia News Agency) via Reuters

The Pakistan International Airline (PIA) flight — PK 6429 — took foreign journalists to Kabul and returned with a team of World Bank and international media organisations, Radio Pakistan reported.

This was the first international passenger flight since the Taliban took over the Afghan capital last month and announced a hardline interim government.

In a statement, PIA Chief Executive Officer Air Marshal Arshad Malik said the objective of the flight is to promote goodwill between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

He said this flight operation is very important for PIA and the entire world.

He also expressed hope that the flight operation would soon be fully restored.

The Kabul airport is not fully operational for international flights though, chartered flights of Qatar Airlines have flown out hundreds of United States, German, Afghan, and other citizens from the airport last week.

The airport has also been receiving international flights carrying humanitarian aid and the domestic flights have been resumed since early September, Afghanistan’s Khaama news reported.

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