Afghan Police Returned to Work at Kabul Airport.
September 12, 2021
The officers said on Sunday that Afghan police have returned to work at Kabul airport, manning checkpoints alongside Taliban security for the first time since the Taliban took power. When the Taliban stormed Kabul last month, deposing the government, police officers fled in fear of what the militants would do. However, two officers said they returned to work on Saturday after receiving phone calls from Taliban commanders.
An AFP correspondent at the airport on Sunday saw border police officers stationed at several checkpoints outside the airport’s main buildings, including the domestic terminal. “I returned to work yesterday, more than two weeks after being sent home,” a police officer told AFP on condition of anonymity. “I received a call from a senior Taliban commander asking me to return”. “It was a pleasure to serve again yesterday.”
The Taliban claims to approve general amnesty to all former government employees, including the army, police, and other security forces. Officials say they want to integrate opposing forces, but they haven’t said that how they plan to maintain a security apparatus of around 600,000 people. The Kabul airport was severely damaged during the chaotic evacuation of over 120,000 people that ended on August 30 with the withdrawal of US forces.
The Taliban, who swept into Kabul on August 15 after routing government forces, have been struggling to reopen the capital’s airport with Qatari technical assistance. The UAE has established an air bridge to deliver tons of aid to Afghanistan, with planes bringing in hundreds of tons of medical and food supplies. An airport employee who handles security for a private company confirmed that border police had been stationed in the airport’s vicinity since Saturday. “They’re sharing security with the Taliban,” he explained to AFP.
In recent days, Qatar Airways has operated charter flights out of Kabul, carrying mostly foreigners and Afghans who were unable to leave during the evacuation. Last week, an Afghan airline continued domestic flights, and Pakistan International Airlines is set to begin flights from Islamabad to Kabul in the coming days.