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Ariana airlines chief calls for permission to resume international flights

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(Last Updated On: September 13, 2021)

The general manager of Ariana Afghan Airlines, the largest airline in Afghanistan, has called on foreign countries to grant permission for them to resume flights into their countries.

Speaking to a China Global Television Network (CGTN) reporter on Sunday, Qari Abdulrahim Gulzad, general manager of the Afghan flag carrier, said his company is ready to resume international routes, but is still waiting for permission from foreign countries.

“As of now, only domestic flights are taking place. International flights have not yet started, although we are ready. We have three planes that operate domestically, that fly internationally as well. We are just waiting for the mutual agreements between the aviation ministry and foreign countries to allow them to fly internationally again,” said Gulzad.

He also said Ariana airlines is eager to resume operations in order to bring back Afghans from abroad.

“We are waiting eagerly because Afghans who are stuck in India, the UAE, and Turkey are in very bad condition. They don’t have money. Their visas have expired. They can’t leave their hotels. Some Afghans in the UAE and India have died and their bodies are there.

“I would like to ask these countries to be flexible regarding international aviation rules as a humanitarian act and let us fly there and take our people who are in trouble in these countries back home,” he said.

Ariana Afghan Airlines resumed its flights from Kabul to three major cities on Saturday, namely, Herat in the west, Mazar-i-Sharif in the north and Kandahar in the south.

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China’s birthrate falls to lowest level in 61 years

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(Last Updated On: January 17, 2022)

China’s birthrate has fallen to its lowest level in six decades, barely outnumbering deaths in 2021 despite major government efforts to increase population growth and stave off a demographic crisis.

Across China, 10.62 million babies were born in 2021, a rate of 7.52 per thousand people, the national bureau of statistics said on Monday.

In the same period 10.14 million deaths were recorded, a mortality rate of 7.18 per thousand, producing a population growth rate of just 0.34 per thousand head of population, the Guardian reported.

The rate of growth is the lowest since 1960, and adds to the findings of last May’s once-a-decade census, which found an average annual rise of 0.53%, down from 0.57% reported from 2000 to 2010.

China, like much of east Asia, is in the grip of a population crisis, with lowering birthrates, and predictions of imminent negative population growth and an ageing population. Monday’s figures showed the proportion of over-60s in China rose from 18.7% in 2020 to 18.9%.

Beijing has announced major reforms to address the decline, including raising the retirement age. A three-child policy has replaced the two-child policy that was introduced in 2016 and had sparked a slight increase in births before falling again.

The high cost of living, delayed marriages and lack of social mobility are frequently cited as contributing factors to young Chinese people’s reluctance to have children.

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CSTO to take anti-drug trafficking measures at Afghanistan border

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(Last Updated On: January 17, 2022)

The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) will hold a three-phase anti-drug trafficking operation at the border with Afghanistan, the organization’s Secretary General Stanislav Zas told Russia-24 news outlet.

He said the CSTO has a range of activities planned for 2022, including military security and the fight against terrorism, Russia-24 reported.

“These are measures of fighting against the illegal circulation of narcotics. This subject is especially important on the backdrop of the recent events in Afghanistan. Here we plan three stages of anti-drug trafficking measures,” Zas said.

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Pakistan’s NSA to visit Kabul this week

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(Last Updated On: January 17, 2022)

Pakistan’s National Security Adviser (NSA) Moeed Yusuf will lead a high-level inter-ministerial delegation to Kabul on Tuesday for a two-day trip for talks on bilateral matters and a focus on Islamabad’s efforts to avert a humanitarian crisis in the country.

“Yusuf is steering the Afghanistan Inter-Ministerial Coordination Cell (AICC) to channel Pakistan’s humanitarian and economic assistance to Afghanistan in a manner that helps the Afghan interim authorities in combatting their key challenges while adhering to the requirements of the UN and international sanctions,” Pakistan’s Dawn news reported.

Officials said the purpose of the visit is to ascertain Afghanistan’s “humanitarian, economic and development needs”.

Dawn news reported the “main sectors of Pakistan’s cooperation with Afghanistan include health, higher education, provision of humanitarian assistance, and enhancement of trade/business contacts”.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) government is yet to confirm the visit.

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