And the passengers riot, hang on to your brains:
200 Afghan pilgrims returning from their Hajj pilgrimage have inverted the airplane highjacking paradigm By refusing to disembark from a Kam Air flight at Kandahar Airport to protest being kept aboard for 38 hours by filght delays in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
After a further 13 hours at Kandahar, the pilgrims insist they won't budge until the government sacks the Minister of the Hajj, and files a case against the private airlines responsible.
"Speaking to Pajhwok Afghan News by phone from the seized aircraft, an angry pilgrim Muhammad Wali complained they were flown from Saudi Arabia to Kandahar in 38 hours. The passengers were offered no refreshments during the time. He added they were initially stranded at Raas al-Khema in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for 18 long hours due to inclement weather conditions in Afghanistan.
"Disallowed to come out, we were kept confined to the aircraft without food,"
He alleged. Another pilgrim, who did not want to be named, also echoed the feelings of Wali. The returning pilgrims including women and the elderly had their feet swollen because of being confined to their seats for a long time, he grumbled. At the Kandahar airport, officials did offer them food but the pilgrims refused to disembark, explained the man, who made it clear:
"We will stick to our stance as long as we are not flown to Kabul. Additionally, the hajj minister has to be removed and legal action taken against the airlines."
In Kabul, deputy head of Kam Air Farid Paikar confirmed the seizure of the plane by the pilgrims at the Kandahar airport. Provincial government officials tried to convince the enraged hujjaj into leaving the plane but their efforts ended up in smoke, he admitted. The passengers were twice served meals following their arrival 30 hours ago, continued Paikar, who linked pilgrim problems to a belated contract signed with the private airlines.
|Meanwhile, on the other side of the Khyber, Dr. Sharif Sharjif asks in the FP's letters column :
:Who is responsible for this mess
|The country is burning, hard hit by load shedding of electricity, gas, fuel, water and price hike of common commodity. The beautiful country is also in grip of looters, jehadies, and evil agencies. The common man is confused, ill ,hungry, dying and have no access to the hospital, school,and justice. The arm forces have been pushed into un-necessary unknown war with loss of precious life of jawan on daily bases. The two pillars of the state are behind the bar, one is paralysed and another one is justifying all its failed action. where are we going, what is our future and for how long we will suffer at the hand of these jehadies and evil agencies (both are the production of each other with one agenda, To kill the innocent Pakistani for the reason well known to them). May God give us honest sincere bold leader to save our loving country! Amen."|