Tajik MFA reportedly surprise over US military’s statement about Afghan airline

01/02/2013 15:37
Payrav Chorshanbiyev
Views: 5768

DUSHANBE, February 1, 2013, Asia-Plus  -- The Foreign Ministry of Tajikistan here on Friday expressed surprise over the United States military officials’ drug accusations against the Afghan private air carrier, Kam Air.

“Release of such kind of information that does not correspondent to the facts causes surprise,” Davlat Nazriyev, head of the MFA information department, told a briefing on February 1.

He stressed that according to data of Tajik law enforcement authorities and Dushanbe International Airport, no drug trafficking cases related to Kam Air have been registered so far.

Tajik MFA spokesman added that Dushanbe International Airport has actively cooperated with Kam Air since 2007 and “planes of this company undergo a thorough check-up at Dushanbe airport in line with international procedures.”

Earlier, Dushanbe International Airport stated that drug accusations lodged by the United States military officials against Kam Air are absolutely unfounded.  “This statement by the U.S. military undermines not only Kam Air’s authority, it also undermines Tajikistan’s international prestige,” Mahmadyusuf Shodiyev, a spokesman for Dushanbe International Airport, noted.

Kam Air now operates once-weekly service from Kabul to Dushanbe.

Kam Air is an airline company that is headquartered in Kabul, Afghanistan. It operates scheduled domestic passenger services and regional international services. The Kabul International Airport serves as its main hub.  Founded on August 31, 2003 by Zamari Kamgar, Kam Air was the first privately owned passenger airline in Afghanistan.  Its first flight operated on 8 November 2003 between Kabul, Herat and Mazari Sharif with a Boeing 727.   The company reportedly operates a fleet of some 16 planes, including Boeing 767 and 747 aircraft and Antonov cargo planes.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on January 25 that the United States military has blacklisted Afghanistan's leading private airline for allegedly ferrying large quantities of opium on civilian flights.

Military officials interviewed by the WSJ have said that Kam Air smuggles the drug to Tajikistan, where it is distributed to the rest of the world.

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