Parliamentary Team to Probe Pakistani Plane Diversion

Lawmakers in Afghanistan’s parliament on Saturday summoned heads of security agencies to respond to them about the diversion of a plane carrying Pakistan’s parliament speaker Asad Qaiser’s who was supposed to land at Hamid Karzai International Airport as part of his planned three-day visit to Kabul on Thursday.

Qaiser’s planned three-day visit to Kabul was called off following reports that an unexploded ordinance had been found at the airport.

Speaking to the parliament member, Hayatullah Hayat, the acting minister of interior affairs, said the plane was diverted over “security and technical reasons.”

“It was a technical problem,” Hayat said. “You know that an unexploded ordnance was found at the airport and the airport was shut down for two hours.”

Saturday’s parliamentary session was held behind closed doors and journalists were allowed to cover the session. But following the meeting, some lawmakers said they were not convinced by the security chiefs’ briefings on the matter.

“The justification they provided did not attain the satisfaction of the parliamentarians and it was decided that the parliament should assign a task team to probe the matter,” said Mir Haidar Afzali, the head of the task team of parliament.

“It is unfortunate that our speaker Mr. Rahmani was at the airport, but Pakistani ambassador had become aware of the situation an hour before,” said Mir Afghan Safi, an MP.

“There was no coordination between the parliament and the government,” said MP Sayed Hassan Paktiawal. “I don’t think it was a technical issue.

Reports say that the unexploded ordinance had remained at the airport from the past.