First chartered flight for Afghan refugees bound for UK set to depart today

The inaugural chartered flight is slated to take off from Islamabad International Airport to the United Kingdom on Thursday, marking a significant step in the relocation of approximately 200 Afghan refugees.

According to The Independent, a prominent British newspaper, this relocation effort is part of a broader initiative that aims to accommodate around 3,000 Afghans, many of whom had previously worked with the British military.

These individuals found themselves evacuated from Afghanistan after the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul in August 2021 and have been residing in Pakistan ever since, awaiting resettlement.

A substantial number are also stranded in Iran, patiently awaiting their transfer.

The UK government has committed to moving all eligible Afghans for resettlement to the UK, even in cases where confirmed accommodations are not in place prior to their arrival, as reported by The Independent.

This decision comes in response to an ultimatum from Pakistan, which has set November 1 as the deadline for all undocumented foreign nationals to depart the country or face potential deportation.

A delegation from the British High Commission, led by Political Consul Zoe Ware, paid a visit to Islamabad International Airport.

During their visit, they engaged in discussions with senior officials from the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) on Tuesday.

Among the attendees were senior civil aviation officials, headed by Director Security, retired Air Commodore Shahid Qadir, as well as COO/Airport Manager IIAP Syed Aftab Gilani and his security team.

According to Pakistani media reports, a spokesperson for the CAA disclosed that the discussions centered on the logistics and procedures for special flights designed to facilitate the transfer of Afghan refugees to the UK.