Getting to Afghanistan, cont'd

Spent 8 hours in Islamabad's international airport (which has no restaurant and kiosks that sell no food other than mouldy candy bars and Pringles chips). I was waiting for a U.N. flight, which had been cancelled the two previous days.

Again, I was reminded of the lack of transportation between two countries that are bound together by geography and war. There was no other way to get to Kabul except to wait for this unreliable flight. Pakistan International Airways flies only twice a week to Kabul and Ariana, the Afghan airlines, only once. On my flight were diplomats, World Bank personnel, UN personnel, and they could not get to their assignments.

At one time one might have taken the day long drive to Peshawar, through the Khyber Pass, and over rutted roads to Kabul. But that is much too dangerous now. The chief of the Frontier Corps, the Pakistani paramilitary body responsible for security for the pass, offered to send me with military escorts to Torkham at the Afghan border, but I wasn't about to risk going on alone from there.

The flight finally arrived and I reached Kabul on Thursday night. 

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