Kabul: Dozens of foreign nationals left Kabul airport on a commercial flight on Thursday for the first time in a massive evacuation operation since US and NATO forces left Afghanistan last month. American citizens are also included in these people who came out of Afghanistan. The departure of these foreign nationals is being seen as a breakthrough in coordination between the US and Taliban leaders. The Taliban has said it will allow foreigners and Afghan nationals with valid travel documents to leave the country, but a standoff over charter planes at other airports has raised doubts about the Taliban’s assurances.
Qatar Airways flight leaves for Doha
This Thursday flight is of Qatar Airways and left for Doha. A senior US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said about 200 people who left were Americans, green card holders and citizens of other countries including Germany, Hungary and Canada. He said two senior Taliban officials assisted in the departure of foreign nationals and that its officers were patrolling the airport. The passengers produced their documents during the check and sniffer dogs inspected the items kept on the ground. Meanwhile, some experienced airport staff, who escaped during the chaos in the past, have returned to work.
‘Another commercial flight will leave on Friday’
Earlier, Qatar’s special envoy Mutlaq bin Majid al-Qahtani had said that the flight would be carrying American and Western nationals. He called it a ‘historic day’. “You can call it whatever you want, charter or commercial flight, everyone has tickets and boarding passes,” the special envoy said at Kabul International Airport. Another such commercial flight will depart on Friday. Hope life is returning to normal in Afghanistan. He said the airport’s radar is now active and is covering a distance of about 112 km. He said officials are coordinating with Pakistan.