DUSHANBE (Reuters) – Tajik officers blamed U.S. paperwork on Wednesday for a close to three-month delay in evacuating U.S.-trained Afghan pilots, who had flown their plane to Tajikistan to flee the Taliban takeover of their nation in August.
The U.S.-trained Afghan personnel, together with a pilot who was pregnant, flew out of Tajikistan on Tuesday, after having been held below situations that a few of them in comparison with detention by Tajik authorities.
The months-long delay had attracted U.S. congressional scrutiny, with lawmakers and navy veterans pissed off by what some noticed as a sluggish U.S. relocation effort. By comparability, it had taken only some weeks to relocate the same group of Afghan pilots who had fled to neighbouring Uzbekistan.
A senior Tajik authorities official, who spoke on the situation of anonymity as a result of he was not authorised to remark publicly, mentioned the “U.S. bureaucratic machine” was largely guilty for the delays.
The pilots’ passports had been taken from them in order that they may very well be handed over to embassy employees who then wanted time to verify their identities, the Tajik official mentioned. He added that Tajikistan had supplied the Afghans with all vital help throughout their keep.
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(Reporting by Nazarali Pirnazarov in Dushanbe; Modifying by Olzhas Auyezov and Peter Graff)
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