All set to welcome thousands of Afghanistan evacuees in Karachi

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is all set to welcome nearly 4,000 Afghan citizens after the country accepted requests made by the US and NATO to provide assistance in evacuations from war-torn Afghanistan.

The US Embassy had requested Pakistan to grant permission for transiting the passengers. It has been asked to allow transit passengers under three categories to help in the evacuation by August 31.

The categories include US diplomats, citizens, Afghan nationals and people from other countries.

The gravity of the situation in Kabul, where thousands of people await the chance to leave Afghanistan amid fears of a Taliban reprisal, has been compounded by a fast-approaching deadline — August 31.

Around 3,000 to 4,000 Afghan citizens, who supported the US and allied forces during their war with the Taliban, will be given Pakistan’s visa and brought to Karachi before their departure to the US after a month, a Karachi based national English newspaper The News reported Friday.

The Sindh government has made boarding and lodging arrangements for the Afghan citizens. The flights will start landing in Karachi from tomorrow, the publication reported, citing sources.

A high-level meeting was held between officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Director General Civil Aviation Authority in Rawalpindi to discuss the evacuation plan.

Another important meeting was also held in Karachi to finalise the arrangements for the evacuees.

As many as five flights carrying people from Afghanistan will land in Karachi, sources in the CAA said. The rest of the flights will land in Multan, Faisalabad, Islamabad and Peshawar, while Lahore has declined to provide this facility.

The sources said that those who arrive will be transported to the designated places arranged by the Sindh government through buses from the Jinnah Terminal.

In Karachi, about 2,000 Afghans and diplomats will arrive from Afghanistan in the next three to four days, reads a letter sent by the Karachi commissioner to the Rangers, IG police, health department secretary and other concerned agencies.

The deputy commissioner has been instructed to make security, boarding, transport and other arrangements on an emergency basis at the airport hotel.

In Rawalpindi, the district administration has issued orders to vacate hotels and marquees and not take more bookings to accommodate the Afghan people and diplomats.

Orders have been given to not book 148 hotels, motels and hostels for at least the next three weeks, while the management of hotels have been informed as well.

While in Islamabad. the federal government has decided to accommodate foreigners in all hotels and six marquees, sources said.

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