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Taliban ask Air Force pilots to return to Afghanistan

AT News

KABUL: The Islamic Emirate has asked all former Afghan Air Force members and pilots to return to the country as they are seeking to build a new air force.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the Islamic Emirate spokesman, assured on Thursday that no security threat will be posed to pilots as general amnesty has been announced. “They can come back and serve here,” he said.

This is amid reports that US-trained Afghan Air Force pilots and other personnel who fled Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover had left for the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday. They had been stranded in Tajikistan for months.

A military expert, Sarwar Niazi says pilots are intellectual assets of the country who had been trained and educated by Afghanistan’s funds. “They are experienced workers, so there should be a way and means for them to come back,” he said.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that during Afghanistan’s collapse, about 25 percent of the Afghan Air Force’s aircraft were flown to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

Meanwhile, the German Foreign Office said Wednesday that a charter flight carrying 329 German citizens, and local employees with their families left Kabul on Wednesday.

The German Foreign Office wrote on Twitter: “After intensive preparations, today, we were able to transport 329 German citizens, local employees including their families aboard our first charter flight from Afghanistan,”

The office thanked Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for providing support for the flight.

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