The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) commercial flight from Islamabad, the first international commercial flight since the Taliban took over, landed in the Afghan capital Kabul on Monday.
Tea Pakistani. The state airline’s flight, carrying a handful of passengers from Islamabad, landed at Kabul airport, which was severely damaged as more than 120,000 people evacuated before the August 31 deadline for the US evacuation. Afghanistan.
“There was hardly anyone on the plane, about 10 people … maybe more passengers than passengers,” said an AFP reporter on a PIA flight from Islamabad.
The resumption of commercial flights will be a major test. Taliban, Who have repeatedly promised that Afghans with valid documents will be allowed to leave the country freely.
Many NATO countries have acknowledged that they have run out of time to evacuate thousands of Afghans at risk before the August 31 deadline, which was agreed between the United States and the Taliban.
A PIA spokesman said over the weekend that the airline wanted to resume regular commercial services, but it was too early to say how often flights between the two capitals would run.
Qatar Airways operated several charter flights from Kabul last week, mostly foreigners and Afghans who were denied evacuation.
An Afghan airline resumed domestic service September 3.
A ‘hopeful day’
“It’s a big moment. We’re so excited,” said an airport employee in a blue shalwar kameez and orange high visibility vest.
“It’s a promising day. Maybe other airlines will see it and decide to come back.”
A bus painted with “Welcome to Afghanistan” was waiting for passengers to be flown to the terminal, but eventually newcomers left.
According to the airport’s ground staff, about 100 passengers were waiting to catch a return flight to Islamabad, most of them relatives of staff from international organizations such as the World Bank.
Passenger halls, air bridges and technical infrastructure were badly damaged in the days of the Taliban’s entry into Kabul on August 15, when thousands stormed the airport hoping to flee.
Tens of thousands of Afghans fear retaliation for aiding foreign powers during the 20-year US-led occupation, but the Taliban insist they have granted amnesty to everyone.
The Taliban imposed educational restrictions on women.
Although the Taliban has promised a lighter form of government this time around, the hardline Islamist group has stepped up its efforts to quell differences, including recent protests by women demanding the right to education and work. There is also firing in the air to disperse.
On Sunday, Taliban Higher Education Minister Abdul Baqi Haqqani unveiled new policies at a news conference, days after Afghanistan’s new rulers formed a male-dominated government.
Restrictions on female university students include the mandatory hijab, although Haqqani did not specify whether it meant a headscarf or a mandatory face veil.
He said that gender segregation would also be implemented. “We will not allow boys and girls to study together,” he said. We will not allow co-education.
The subjects taught will also be reviewed, Haqqani said. Although he did not elaborate, he said he wanted Afghan university graduates to be competitive with university graduates in the region and the rest of the world.
In an interview with Afghanistan’s leading Tolo News, Taliban spokesman Syed Zikrullah Hashmi said last week that women should have children and raise them. Although the Taliban did not rule out women’s final participation in government, the spokesman said it was not necessary for women to be in the cabinet.
(France 24 with AFP and AP)