Pakistan Afghanistan Friendship Gate
People arriving from Afghanistan make their way at the Friendship Gate crossing point at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border town of Chaman, Pakistan August 15, 2021. Image Credit: Reuters

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan, Mansoor Ahmad Khan, announced on Sunday that Pakistan would continue to extend all visas and consular services to Afghan journalists, their families as well as citizens of other countries who want to leave the country.

In a series of tweets Ambassador Khan also assured the Pakistani nationals that the Pakistan embassy in Kabul was mindful of the situation in the country and would not leave them stranded in Afghanistan.

I assure Pakistanis working/living in Kabul and adjoining areas that the embassy is engaged with PIA to accommodate Pakistanis on regular and additional flights. We are also assisting those who have issues of affordability, he said in a tweet.

The crisis deepened in Afghanistan on Sunday with Taliban forces taking over Kabul. As the Taliban negotiators entered the presidential palace for a peaceful transfer of power, Kabul-based embassies and consulates of international countries started closing down telling their nationals to leave the country.

The Pakistan embassy, however, was open to facilitate the travel services to the Pakistani, the Afghan and the citizens of other nations. Ambassador Mansoor Ahmad Khan asked the media requiring visas to contact the Press Counselor assuring they would be facilitated.

The situation is risky in Afghanistan but I appreciate the officers and the staff of the Pakistan embassy in Kabul for rendering valuable services to help Pakistanis, Afghan nationals and citizens of other countries. Bravo our team, he said.

While responding to a question by Gulf News on Sunday, Ambassador Khan responded, “We are trying to facilitate people who want to leave. We are open.”

The Pakistani embassy was also coordinating with Pakistan International Airline (PIA) and the Pakistani authorities to help those willing to fly to Pakistan, he further said.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had earlier announced that the Pakistan embassy would be offering visa services as well as facilitating requests of foreign missions and international organisations for temporary relocation to Pakistan.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Air Marshal (R) Arshad Malik paid rich tributes to the PIA crew and airline staff for running operations uninterruptedly at a critical time.

PIA is living up to its legacy and commitment and is in touch with the Pakistani embassy in Afghanistan Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority and Foreign Office to assist our nationals in Afghanistan. We shall leave no stone unturned. My crew is my hero by being at the forefront in this endeavor, he further said.