Afghan transit passengers to land only in Islamabad


KARACHI/ISLAMABAD:

The government has changed its decision to bring Afghan transit passengers to Karachi over security reasons and has decided that they will only be brought to Islamabad.

According to sources, the Sindh government has been informed about the change in the passenger transfer plan. However, the Lahore and Karachi airports are currently on standby for the transfer of Afghan transit passengers.

“The Afghan transit passengers to Islamabad will be transferred out of the country in the shortest possible time and from the airport, transit passengers will be accommodated in hotels only if absolutely necessary.”

By Saturday afternoon, two Italian military planes and one Ukrainian had flown from Kabul to Islamabad.

At one point, 107 passengers arrived at the Islamabad airport, including three Doha-bound passengers, who mistakenly boarded the Italian plane and flew to Islamabad. They were issued on-arrival visas for 72 hours by the FIA Immigration after scrutiny. The 104 Afghans were kept in lounges at the airport as transit passengers.

The Ukrainian military plane also arrived at the Islamabad airport along with 129 passengers and 11 crew members, who will be provided accommodation till they can fly to their country.

According to details, more than 400 planes have taken off from Kabul International Airport and landed at the Islamabad International Airport after the situation in Afghanistan deteriorated.

Following the situation in Afghanistan, the expected large-scale evacuation operation to evacuate foreigners and Afghans stranded at the Kabul airport could not begin due to the explosions that took place on Thursday.

Read Pakistan all set to host people leaving Afghanistan

However, at the New Islamabad International Airport, embassies of different countries have set up counters to facilitate the residents of their respective countries or the Afghans who want to relocate to those countries, which are also being provided full facilities by the Civil Aviation Authority.

According to sources, desks of Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Turkey, Belgium, Korea and Denmark have been set up at the New Islamabad International Airport.

An Italian military plane with 206 passengers and eight crew members also left Islamabad Airport for Italy. According to airport sources, an Italian C130 plane from Kabul with 11 crew members landed at Islamabad airport for refueling and left for Kuwait.




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