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Afghan Air Force pilots who fled to Uzbekistan to be transferred to US base in Doha

ANI | Updated: Sep 12, 2021 08:00 IST

Tashkent [Uzbekistan] September 12 (ANI): A group of Afghan Air Force pilots, who fled to Uzbekistan after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, is expected to be transferred to a US military base in Doha.
Citing Wall Street Journal, Sputnik reported that the pilots will be transferred this weekend under a new agreement between the US and Uzbek governments, where they will be processed for onward travel, said people familiar with the matter.
The Taliban has promised amnesty to government officials and members of the military, but the pilots still fear for their safety and the Uzbek government has been under pressure by the Taliban to hand over the pilots, according to The Wall Street Journal.
However, it is unclear whether the pilots will eventually end up being transferred to the US, reported Sputnik.
"Through a lot of diligent work, we are hopeful that the pilots and military personnel, including the husband [of] one of my constituents, are going to get out of Uzbekistan this weekend," Republican Representative for Texas, August Pfluger, told The Wall Street Journal.

"This was accomplished through constant work to hold the Biden administration's feet to the fire," he added.
There are currently 46 aircraft in Uzbekistan that flew over from Afghanistan, as well as pilots, crews, and their families, totalling some 585 people, according to the newspaper.
Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen has called on the pilots to return to Afghanistan as the country needs its people to rebuild itself.
The US military withdrawal from Afghanistan was completed on August 31, ending the nearly twenty-year American military presence in Afghanistan. Earlier this week, the Taliban announced the composition of Afghanistan's temporary government comprising of 33 male members without any women representation.
Mullah Muhammad Hassan Akhund has been appointed as interim Prime Minister with two deputies Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and Molavi Abdul Salam Hanafi.
The seizure of power has forced thousands of Afghans to flee for fear of reprisals from the militants. (ANI)