Taliban-led Afghan government asks India to resume flights to Kabul in first official communication

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In its first official communication to India, the Taliban-headed Afghan government has written to the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) seeking resumption of commercial flights between India and Kabul.

According to a report by India Today, the letter, dated September 7, has been written by Afghanistan’s acting aviation minister Alhaj Hameedullah Akhunzada and is addressed to the aviation body’s chief Arun Kumar.

“As you are well informed recently, the Kabul Airport was damaged and dysfunctional by American troops before their withdrawal. By technical assistance of our Qatar Brother, the airport became operational once again and a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) in this regard was issued on 6 September, 2021,” wrote Akhunzada after after extending greetings to the DGCA.

“The intention of this letter is to keep the smooth passenger movement between 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. The Civil Aviation of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan avails its highest assurance,” the minister wrote in the letter.

Sources at the Ministry of Civil Aviation said that the letter is under their review and they are assessing the on-ground situation.

Earlier, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said that the Indian government is “taking a longer route” on the subject of the resumption of flights between India and Kabul. “When things get better, we will be back on the same track,” Scindia had said.

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