ISLAMABAD: The visit of Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser to Afghanistan was postponed due to the closure of the Kabul airport at the last moment, citing security reasons, the media wing of the Parliament House announced on Thursday.
The aircraft of the Speaker, who was heading a nine-member parliamentary delegation to Kabul, on the special invitation of his counterpart Chairman Wolsi Jirga Mir Rehman Rahmani had to return to Islamabad, after being denied permission to land at the Hamid Karzai international.
Mohammad Sadiq, Pakistan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan in a tweet said “Speaker’s visit to Kabul postponed as the airport was closed due to security threat.”
He said “the plane was about to descent when the control tower informed of the closure of the airport. New dates for the visit will be decided after mutual consultations.”
According to the data available from the flight tracker Flightradar 24 and shared by an unofficial PIA enthusiast said the aircraft circled for some time near Kabul’s Hamid Karzai airport, before heading back home. However, the information available from the Kabul Airport’s online arrivals and departures showed regular flight movement.
Official sources said Chairman Wolsi Jirga Afghanistan Mir Rehman Rahmani and Chairman of the Afghan Senate Fazal Hadi Muslimyar telephoned Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser and regretted the postponement of the visit. They said they were looking forward to the visit of the delegation from Pakistan at an earlier date. Speaker Asad Qaiser said he would be visiting Kabul as soon as the security situation improves.
The Parliamentary delegation comprised Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Sadiq Khan, MNAs Shandan Gulzaar, Muhammad Yaqoob Sheikh, Sajid Khan, Maulana Salauddin Ayubi, Gul Dad Khan, Ghulam Mustafa Shah and Secretary National Assembly. The delegation was on a four-day visit to Kabul.
Prior to his visit the Speaker in a brief message said he looked forward to closer ties with the people of Afghanistan. He said the delegation planned to hold wide-ranging discussions, including deliberations on the Afghan peace and cross-border trade.—APP