Pakistan is preparing to welcome almost 4,000 Afghan residents after agreeing to help with evacuations from war-torn Afghanistan as requested by the US and NATO.
The US Embassy had asked Pakistan to allow travelers to cross the country. By August 31, it has been requested that it enable transit travelers in three categories to assist in the evacuation.
Diplomats, citizens, Afghan nationals, and individuals from other nations are among the categories.
The severity of the situation in Kabul, where thousands of civilians await the opportunity to escape Afghanistan under concerns of Taliban reprisal, has been exacerbated by the impending August 31 deadline.
Around 3,000 to 4,000 Afghan civilians who aided US and partner troops in their fight against the Taliban would be granted Pakistani visas and transported to Karachi before returning to the US after a month.
The Sindh government has made provisions for the Afghan residents’ boarding and accommodation. According to reports, aircraft will begin arriving in Karachi as early as tomorrow.
The evacuation strategy was discussed in a high-level meeting in Rawalpindi between officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Director General Civil Aviation Authority.
In Karachi, another crucial conference was conducted to finalize the preparations for the evacuees.
According to CAA officials, as many as five planes transporting Afghans will arrive in Karachi. The remaining aircraft will land in Multan, Faisalabad, Islamabad, and Peshawar, with Lahore refusing to accommodate them.
According to reports, individuals who arrive will be taken by bus from the Jinnah Terminal to specified locations provided by the Sindh government.
According to a letter issued by the Karachi commissioner to the Rangers, IG police, health department secretary, and other relevant authorities, about 2,000 Afghans and diplomats will arrive in Karachi in the next three to four days.
The deputy commissioner has been ordered to make emergency security, boarding, transportation, and other arrangements at the airport hotel.
The district government in Rawalpindi has given instructions to evacuate hotels and marquees and not accept any new reservations in order to accommodate Afghans and diplomats.
Orders were issued not to book 148 hotels, motels, and hostels for at least the next three weeks, and hotel management was also notified.
While in Islamabad the federal government has decided to accommodate foreigners in all hotels and six marquees, sources said.