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HomeFeatured StoriesTaliban Writes To India to Resume Flights To Afghanistan: Report

Taliban Writes To India to Resume Flights To Afghanistan: Report


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The Taliban has written to the DGCA, or Directorate General of Civil Aviation, asking for resumption of commercial flights between India and Afghanistan (Kabul), according to news agency ANI.

A letter from the hardline group has been received by the Indian government and is under review by the Civil Aviation Ministry, ANI reported.

India had stopped all commercial flight operations to Kabul after August 15, when the Taliban swept into the Afghan capital and took effective control of the war-torn country.

Last week the Taliban also appealed to airlines from other countries to resume operations, promising its complete co-operation and saying that all problems at the airport had been resolved.

The statement came as the Taliban steps up efforts to open up Afghanistan and gain international acceptance, as well as jumpstart a national economy on brink of collapse.

Taliban spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi told news agency Reuters that suspension of international flights had left Afghans stranded abroad and prevented people from travelling for work or study.

“As problems at Kabul International Airport have been resolved and the airport is fully operational for domestic and international flights, the IEA assures all airlines of its full cooperation,” he said.

The IEA is the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan – the Taliban’s term for their new government.

So far only a limited number of aid and passenger flights have been operating out of Kabul.

On September 13 an international commercial flight – a Pakistan International Airlines plane – became the first to fly in and out of the airport in over a month.

A few other airlines have begun offering some services as well, but with severely limited options prices remain many times higher than normal, according to Reuters.

After the Taliban’s takeover, Kabul airport was soon flooded by tens of thousands Afghan nationals desperately looking to flee, as well as foreign nationals and aid workers waiting to be evacuated.

The Indian government operated several such flights – in co-ordination with the Air Force and commercial airlines – bringing back hundreds of citizens, as well as refugees and foreigners.

Heart-breaking scenes were witnessed at the height of the evacuation process, including the sight of a United States Marine lifting a baby over a razor wire-topped wall at the airport.

The airport was damaged during the evacuation, but repairs have been carried out with the assistance of technical teams from Qatar and Turkey.

Earlier this month Afghan police personnel also returned to duty at the airport, operating checkpoints alongside Taliban security forces.

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