Saturday, May 30, 2015

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.

Getting to Afghanistan, cont'd

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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. 

Inquirer Opinion Columnist
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About this blog

Trudy Rubin’s Worldview column runs on Thursdays and Sundays. Over the past decade she has made multiple trips to Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Turkey, Israel and the West Bank and also written from Syria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Iran, Russia, Ukraine, South Korea and China. 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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