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ISLAMABAD: The management of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) decided to entertain the request of the European Union (EU) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for evacuation of their employees from Afghanistan. Spokesman PIA told Business Recorder, "Yes we agreed to evacuate the employees of EU and ADB from Afghanistan".

The EU and ADB had sought help from the PIA to evacuate their employees from Afghanistan. In a letter to PIA Chief Executive Officer Arshad Malik and Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan, EU Ambassador to Pakistan Androulla Kaminara had requested for 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. The PIA was the only commercial airline continuing to fly to Kabul, after all the other international flights had suspended operations by 16th August.

After multiple flights and evacuating about people from Kabul, including diplomats and staff of the IMF/World Bank, the PIA decided to suspend operations, due to unsafe tarmac and taxiways, debris and lack of relevant airport staff and facilities for flight operations. Since the fall of Kabul on 15th August, the foreign countries had started rescuing their nationals and Afghans.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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