Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has suspended flights to the Afghan capital Kabul, accusing it of being the target of harsh intervention by the Taliban.
The decision to suspend flights came after the Taliban instructed Pakistan Airlines to reduce its ticket fares and move it back to the stage before the fall of the Western-backed Afghan government in August.
Since the Taliban took control of Kabul on August 15, only Pakistan Airlines has been operating regular flights there.
According to the BBC, tickets from Kabul to the Pakistani capital Islamabad are being sold for at least 10 times more than the August ticket (১২ 1,200).
In this context, the Taliban government’s Ministry of Transport said in a statement that ticket prices should be consistent with the conditions prior to the Islamic Emirate’s victory. Earlier, the ticket price was 120-150 dollars.
The Afghan Ministry of Transport also said that flights to Islamabad from Kabul could be banned if the fares were not complied with.
But PIA spokesman Abdullah Khan said the Taliban had accidentally changed the rules and intimidated staff. He alleged that the airline staff was kept at gunpoint for several hours.
“We are suspending our flights to Kabul from today due to the excesses of the Taliban authorities,” a PIA spokesman told Reuters.
Taliban officials reportedly spoke abusively to Pakistan Airlines staff and pushed one staff member. “All flights from Kabul to Pakistan will be closed until the situation improves,” a PIA spokesman said.
International flights to the country began last month after US troops withdrew from Afghanistan in late August. Since then, Pakistan and Afghanistan have had very limited flights between the two countries.