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PIA to airlift EU, ADB officials from Kabul airport

The European Union and Asian Development Bank have decided to utillise Pakistan International Airport (PIA) for evacuation of their people from Kabul airport.

In a letter to PIA Chief Executive Officer Arshad Malik and Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan, EU Ambassador to Pakistan Androulla Kaminara has asked them to make available a special aircraft for evacuation of members of an EU delegation and their dependents stranded in Kabul on humanitarian grounds. “Evacuation of 420 persons is envisaged, with 251 in the first priority for which a list has been made,” the letter said.

Ms Kaminara said they had already secured commitment of EU member states that all these persons will be accepted in the European Union as their final destination. She said that at this stage they would ask for a flight from Kabul airport to Islamabad airport for direct further transit to Europe through another aircraft, made available by the EU.

Hundreds of people run alongside a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane, some climbing on the plane, as it moves down a runway of the international airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug.16. 2021. Thousands of Afghans have rushed onto the tarmac at the airport, some so desperate to escape the Taliban capture of their country that they held onto the American military jet as it took off and plunged to death. (Verified UGC via AP)

Ms Kaminara requested the Pakistani authorities that the passengers would leave the aircraft and stay some days in Islamabad.

The Asian Development Bank has also written a letter to the PIA chief executive officer, requesting for evacuation of its staff from Kabul.

As many as 290 passengers would be the part of this evacuation, of which 162 would be ADB staff and their families and Afghan nationals and the remaining are Filipino nationals stranded in Afghanistan.

ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Eugenue Zhukov requested the PIA CEO for chartered flights for evacuation of the ADB staff and their families from Kabul to Islamabad.

Meanwhile, the United States, Britain, and other NATO countries have expedited airlifting of their officials from Kabul airport amid growing chaos inside and outside the airport.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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