The Qatari and United Arab Emirates teams will remain in Afghanistan until Kabul airport is fully operational for international flights, said a Taliban administration official.
Mawlavi Abdul Hadi Hamadan, acting head of Hamid Karzai International Airport, told Anadolu Agency that several teams from Qatar and the UAE are working at the airport, but there are still technical difficulties that must be resolved before international flights are fully operational.
“International flights have already begun, with many flights bringing humanitarian aid from Qatar, the UAE, Pakistan, and Turkmenistan landing here, but the airport is not fully operational,” he continued.
Before leaving, the US forces caused extensive damage to the airport, planes, terminals, and buildings, and they did not spare even small commodities such as chairs, TV sets, and computers in different departments, according to Hamadan.
The Qatari and UAE teams are working to resolve the technical issues as quickly as possible, but no timetable for making the airport fully operational for international flights can be given at this time, he said.
He stated that the UAE team has informed him that they have already spent $1 million renovating one of the terminals, and that “they cannot forgive what the US troops have done to the airport.”
There are many Afghans residing overseas who are yearning to return since they are facing numerous hardships, he said.
They desire to have reciprocal flight operations with different countries, "especially between our neighbors." However, once the airport issue is fixed, other difficulties will be addressed progressively.
In response to a question, Hamadan stated that the interim Taliban administration has already asked all former employees to return to their work, not just at the airport but also in other ministries. “But no problem mongers will be asked to rejoin,” he said, adding that several people have returned to their prior positions.
Women are also asked, particularly those in security, to rejoin work because "adequate searches of women passengers cannot be done by men," he added.
“However, they will be dressed in the Islamic hijab,” he continued.
A woman official searching travelers at the domestic terminal said: “Five women have joined at the domestic flights' security.” A good number of women have been working in different departments at Kabul airport, but “only five of us have joined so far,” she said without disclosing her name./aa