Islamic Emirate officials have been in talks with neighboring countries for the return of Afghan aircraft that were flown by Afghan pilots who escaped Afghanistan for Tajikistan and Uzbekistan following the rapid fall of the Western-backed government in mid-August.
The deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate, Inamullah Samangani, said that negotiations at a high-level have begun.
“Over 40 aircraft have been flown to neighboring countries, especially Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The negotiations have begun over the return of the aircraft,” he said.
Based on some statistics, the number of Afghan aircraft is over 164.
“The governments of the two countries have been called upon many times to return the aircraft to the current Afghan government. Of course they made offers but so far they have not handed them over (aircraft),” said Inayatullah Khwarazami, the Defense Ministry’s spokesman.
The US and Alliance provided the former Afghan government with many aircraft as part of their 20-year military mission in Afghanistan.
The former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani and close staff fled via three aircraft to Uzbekistan. The exact number of the aircraft flown to the Central Asian states is unclear.
“The best way to get access to these aircraft is with the recognition (of the Afghan government) and satisfaction of US,” said Asadullah Nadeem, a military veteran.
“These aircraft are the property of the people of Afghanistan. It doesn’t belong to an individual or a party,” said Rahmatullah Andar, a military veteran.
The Afghan pilots and airforce maintenance workers who fled the country have been evacuated by the US.
According to reports, the governments of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan asked the US to let them have custody of the aircraft.
The US said it will consider the decision to allow the two states to take custody of these aircraft.