Taliban Write to Modi Gov't Urging India to Resume Commercial Flights to Afghanistan
India had halted air operations with Afghanistan after the Taliban* took over Kabul on 15 August. India has not recognised the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan" and has continuously called for an "inclusive dispensation" in Kabul.
In a first official communication with New Delhi, the Taliban have written a letter to India's civil aviation regulator to resume flights to Kabul, assuring security to all airlines in the changed political scenario of Afghanistan.
"The intention of this letter is to keep the smooth passenger movement between the two countries based on the signed MoU and our National Carriers (Ariana Afghan Airline & Kam Air) aimed to commence their scheduled flights. Therefore, Afghanistan Civil aviation authority requests you to facilitate their commercial flights," Alhaj Hameedullah Akhunzada, the acting civil aviation minister of the new Taliban administration, wrote to India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
On Tuesday, the Indian civil aviation regulator said that it had received the letter and was reviewing it.
On Monday, Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi, the foreign minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), the abbreviation used by the Taliban when referring to its government, called for the free movement of Afghan travellers and good relations between the international community and Afghanistan.
Dr. Mutlaq Al-Qahtani, special envoy of the foreign minister of the State of Qatar, who met Muttaqi in Kabul on Monday, said that the "world should not ignore good security and prevalent realities in Afghanistan."
On Sunday, Abdul Qahar Balkhi, the foreign ministry spokesperson, said the suspension of international flights had left many Afghans stranded abroad and unable to return to their homeland.
"As the problems at Kabul International Airport have been resolved and the airport is fully operational for domestic and international flights, the IEA assures all airlines of its full cooperation," he said, adding the majority of these Afghans are women, children, students, patients, and traders who need to travel freely.
India had suspended all the commercial air service with Afghanistan after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled and the Taliban declared victory over the US-led NATO forces.
A limited number of aid and passenger flights have been operating from the Kabul airport since 13 September. The airport was damaged during the massive evacuation of military forces and foreign nationals from around the world after 15 August. However, the Taliban have claimed that they reopened the airport with the assistance of technical teams from Qatar and Turkey.
*The Taliban is a terrorist organization outlawed in many countries including Russia
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|