Members of Afghanistan’s women soccer team and their families arrived in Pakistan after fleeing their country in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover, local media said Wednesday.
It was unclear how many Afghan women players and their family members were allowed to enter in Pakistan.
According to Pakistan’s information minister Fawad Chaudhry, the Afghan women soccer players entered in Pakistan though the northwestern Torkham border crossing holding valid travel documents.
“We welcome Afghanistan women football team,” Chaudhry tweeted, providing no further details.
However, Pakistan’s English-langue The DAWN newspaper Wednesday reported that the Afghan female footballers were issued emergency humanitarian visas following the Taliban takeover of Kabul. The Taliban reportedly don’t want women to participate in sports.
The Taliban has not commented, but an official confirmed that under the government’s interpretation of Islam, women are not allowed to play any sports where they could potentially be exposed.
Last week, the Taliban announced an all-male interim government for Afghanistan stacked with veterans of their rule from the 1990s and the 20-year battle against the US-led coalition. The move seems unlikely to win the international support the new leaders desperately need to avoid an economic meltdown.
Dutch evacuate 150 Afghans from Pakistan
The Dutch foreign ministry says it is evacuating nearly 150 people from Pakistan who fled from Afghanistan.
The Dutch government says Wednesday’s flight will pickup nearly 50 people with Dutch nationality and their Afghan families as well as Afghans who worked closely with the Netherlands in Afghanistan — mainly translators.
The government in The Hague has faced criticism in recent weeks for not acting earlier to evacuate Afghans who worked with the government over the past 20 years.
Many such Afghans fear persecution following the Taliban’s swift march to power.
The charter flight also will pick up nearly 100 other people who will fly on from Amsterdam to other European nations.