Pakistani airline suspends flights to Afghanistan due to ‘heavy hand’ from Taliban

The airline said conditions had worsened since the Taliban formed a new Afghan government last month and that “the PIA and its personnel in Kabul were treated with a heavy hand by the new [Taliban] commanders. “The PIA said the commanders had been” changing regulations and flight permits in the last few moments or deciding on a whim instead of complying with international regulations. ”

The statement also stated that the PIA representative in the country was “detained at gunpoint for hours as he left the Pakistani embassy compound” on the “suspicion of the Taliban of helping and inciting” people seeking to flee from Afghanistan.

The PIA also accused the Afghan Ministry of Aviation of halving the number of passengers on a flight this week that was already in the check-in process. “This caused 176 people, who fled for their lives, to be returned home. by airline officials, resulting in a loss of nearly half a million dollars to the airline due to higher insurance costs, “the airline said.

PIA resumed some charter flights in Kabul on September 13, nearly a month after the Taliban stormed the capital and seized control of Afghanistan.

PIA spokesman Abdullah Khan told CNN on Thursday that the decision to resume flights to Kabul “was made on purely humanitarian grounds and at the strong insistence of friendly organizations.”

Khan said the insurance premium on these flights is “so high” that it is “simply impossible to operate scheduled flights to Kabul, as it is still considered a war zone by aircraft insurance companies.”

Khan also said that “it is very frustrating that regulations keep changing for every flight and that authorities always confuse charter permits with time permits.”

Khan said the PIA would reevaluate its decision to suspend flights “if the ground situation improves and [becomes] more conducive to international operations. “

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