The first international commercial flight after the end of last month’s chaotic western airlift from Afghanistan took off from Kabul airport with over 100 passengers on Thursday (September 9), officials said. As well as offering hope to those trapped in Afghanistan and fearing a new Taliban government, the incident marked one of the Islamic group’s efforts to bring back a degree of normalcy in a country facing economic collapse and a humanitarian crisis. Marked an important step.
Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani thanked Taliban leaders for helping to reopen the airport in Islamabad, saying “we managed to land the first plane with passengers just an hour ago.” A source with knowledge of the matter said that there were about 113 passengers on board, including US, Canadian, Ukrainian, German and British nationals.
The flight, operated by state-owned Qatar Airways, later landed at Doha’s Hamad International Airport, Al Jazeera news channel reported. The source said the passengers were taken to Kabul airport in a Qatari convoy after agreeing on a safe route. In Doha, they will initially live in a compound hosting Afghan and other evacuees.
Although international flights with officials, technicians and aid have moved in and out in recent days, it was the first civilian flight since the hectic evacuation of 124,000 foreigners and at-risk Afghans that captured the Taliban capital in August. It happened after. 15. Qatar’s special envoy Mutlaq bin Majid Al-Qahtani described Thursday’s flight as a routine flight and not an evacuation. He said that there will be a flight on Friday (September 10) also.
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“Call it whatever you want, a charter or a commercial flight, everyone has tickets and boarding passes,” al-Qahtani was quoted as saying by Al Jazeera. It is hoped that life in Afghanistan is returning to normal. Reuters could not immediately confirm whether any Afghan nationals who did not have passports from another country were on the ship.
The flight came two days after the Taliban announced an interim government made up of men, including Islamist extremists and some wanted by the United States on terrorism charges. Foreign countries saw the make-up of the new government as a sign that the Taliban would not seek to broaden their base and show a more tolerant face as they suggested they would.