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PIA cites security reasons to suspend Kabul operations

India,Indo-Pak/Pakistan,Politics,Terrorism

Author : Indo Asian News Service

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New Delhi, Oct 14 (IANS) Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) said on Thursday that it has suspended its operations in Kabul with immediate effect citing "security reasons", the Dawn reported.

PIA spokesperson Abdullah Khan confirmed the development, saying that Kabul operations of the airline will remain suspended until further notice.

The spokesperson emphasised the fact that PIA had kept flying in and out of Kabul under "difficult circumstances" when others had ceased their operations.

He was referring to the part the PIA played in mass evacuations following the Taliban's swift take over of Kabul in August, which created a rush among those stuck in the Afghan capital to get out amid a dearth of flights.

"The PIA evacuated around 3,000 people after the rapidly changing situation in Afghanistan," said the PIA spokesperson, adding that among the people flown out of Kabul were officials of the United Nations, World Bank, the IMF, other global organisations as well as international journalists.

Khan said that the PIA's captains and staff endangered their lives but still kept the evacuation process going.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan's civil aviation administration said in a statement that PIA and Afghanistan's Kam Air will be banned from operating flights from Kabul to Islamabad if they do not charge the same price as they did prior to their takeover.

The statement said that the airlines will be fined and punished if they violate the rules, Khaama Press reported.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan warned the airlines after PIA started charging up to $2,500 for each ticket from Kabul to Islamabad.

The statement also asked people to cooperate with the administration in reporting violation of the new rules.

--IANS

san/arm



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