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PIA flight from Kabul arrives in Islamabad

19 Aug, 2021
The information regarding the flight was kept secret till its departure due to security concerns. File photo
The information regarding the flight was kept secret till its departure due to security concerns. File photo

A special passenger aircraft of the Pakistan International Airlines has reached Islamabad from Kabul at 7am on Thursday, the airline said in its release describing it as the first international flight following the Taliban took over the country on August 15.

The flight carried Pakistanis, foreign diplomatic staff and important officials of the global organisations, according to a press release issued by the PIA.

It said the information regarding the flight was kept secret till its departure due to security concerns.

PIA administration was in constant contact with the civil aviation of the Afghan government and the NATO officials.

PIA CEO Arshad Malik monitored the live operation of the flight from the airline’s situation room.

The PIA officials in Kabul arranged for the permits of the passengers and they arranged facilities for the travelers to reach the airport.

Malik and other high-level officials welcomed passengers at Islamabad airport.

Kabul airport has been witness to tragic scenes as thousands of Afghans throned the airport on August 15 in a desperate bid to get on evacuation flights out of Afghanistan. Taliban have routinely been firing in the air in a bid to disperse crowds outside the shuttered airport hoping to find a way onto a plane.

Taliban shut the airport on August 15 but flights resumed a day later to evacuate civilians and diplomatic staff.

PIA pilot Maqsood Bajarani on Monday took a risky decision and successfully evacuated 170 people from Kabul as the authorities abruptly suspended the international flights from Hamid Karzai International Airport.

The same day at least five people died in an attempt to flee the country which was in the control of the Taliban. The horrific footage went viral on the social media in which people were running desperately along a jet and making efforts to leave Afghanistan.