Sunday, April 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Delayed in Pakistan

I was supposed to leave today for Afghanistan, but my flight was cancelled. It was a United Nations flight, the U.N. Humanitarian Air Service, which is used by nongovernmental agencies and journalists because there are so few regular flights between Afghanistan and Pakistan. In fact, there was no other flight from Islamabad to Kabul today.

Delayed in Pakistan

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I was supposed to leave today for Afghanistan, but my flight was cancelled. It was a United Nations flight, the U.N. Humanitarian Air Service, which is used by nongovernmental agencies and journalists because there are so few regular flights between Afghanistan and Pakistan. In fact, there was no other flight from Islamabad to Kabul today.

It's really quite amazing, given the geopolitical pairing of these two countries, that it is so difficult to get from one to the other, and also difficult to phone. Yet there are around three million Afghan refugees in Pakistan, and the troubles in Afghanistan have spilled over into Pakistan, along with the Taliban and al Qaeda who are based along the border.

But when it comes to the most basic linkages, the two countries have little contact.

Trudy Rubin Inquirer Opinion Columnist
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About this blog

Trudy Rubin’s Worldview column runs on Thursdays and Sundays. In 2009-2011 she has made four lengthy trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Over the past seven years, she visited Iraq eleven times, and also wrote from Iran, Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, China, and South Korea.

She is the author of Willful Blindness: the Bush Administration and Iraq, a book of her columns from 2002-2004. In 2001 she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary and in 2008 she was awarded the Edward Weintal prize for international reporting. In 2010 she won the Arthur Ross award for international commentary from the Academy of American Diplomacy.

Reach Trudy at trubin@phillynews.com.

Trudy Rubin Inquirer Opinion Columnist
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