The European Union (EU) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have requested help from Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to evacuate their employees from Afghanistan. Up to 420 EU employees will be evacuated from Kabul to Islamabad, with 251 people on the priority list.
EU Ambassador to Pakistan Androulla Kaminara, sent a letter to PIA Chief Executive Officer Arshad Malik and Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan addressing his concerns. She requested PIA to make available an aircraft to evacuate EU personnel and staff safely. Ms Kaminara also asked to allow EU staff to stay for some days in Islamabad.
She informed Pakistan’s authorities that they had already secured the commitment of EU member states to accept the incoming passengers from Islamabad to the European Union as their final destination. She said that for direct further transit to Europe, the EU has already arranged another aircraft.
The PIA chief executive officer also received a letter from The Asian Development Bank, requesting for evacuation of its staff from Kabul. ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Eugenue Zhukov asked the PIA CEO for chartered flights for evacuation.
PIA would be evacuating 290 passengers, out of which 162 would be ADB personnel and their families, including some Afghan nationals, while the rest are stranded Filipino nationals. PIA is set to operate three special flights to Kabul on Monday to evacuate foreigners and their dependents.
Pakistan has previously assisted, Denmark, Germany, the US, Turkey, and other nationals including Afghans to safely evacuate from Kabul. Despite being on the covid red list for flights, Pakistan has been actively facilitating all International and local organisations and their staffs, including journalists find a safe passage home through Pakistan.
A point to ponder over: PIA banned from flying into EU countries but the same countries are quite okay using PIA to evacuate their citizens out of Kabul. Ironic indeed. Perhaps a little "thank you PIA" would not be amiss! @AKaminara
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) August 21, 2021