RAWALPINDI: The European Union (EU) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have sought help from Pakistan International Airlines (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 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.
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.
Sources said that following these requests, PIA is planning to operate three special flights to Kabul on Monday to evacuate foreigners and their dependents.
Published in Dawn, August 23rd, 2021