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Boxing: Mohammad Hussamuddin sails into QF        Leading garment exporter Kitex Group to invest Rs 2,400 cr in Telangana        Taliban continue restrictive policies on women's education, resume secondary school lessons only for male students        Sidhu is a 'friend of Pakistan', will oppose if he is appointed CM: Amarinder Singh        Schools in Kerala to reopen from Nov 1        Amarinder Singh resigns as Punjab CM, says will not accept Sidhu for top post        Sachin stuns World Championships medallist Gaurav Bidhuri        Sensex, Nifty snap winning streak, end in red        Rahul attacks BJP govt over unemployment issue        International community must think carefully, consult before giving acceptance to new Kabul regime: PM Modi        Kerala to allot 36.84 acres land to TCS, aims to create 10,000 jobs        GST Council relief for Covid drugs, plan to include petrol, diesel in GST net off the table        Vishal Bhardwaj, Netflix come together for their upcoming spy thriller Khufiya        Kohli to step down as T20I captain after T20 WC, will continue as ODI & Test skipper        Bringing diesel, petrol in GST may be discussed in Council meeting, also on agenda is taxing Swiggy, Zomato        Australia, UK, US announce new partnership 'AUKUS'; to help Canberra acquire nuclear-powered subs        Six states including UP, Delhi and Haryana report dengue outbreak: Govt        PDP leader Poonthura Siraj passes away        Delhi-Katra road journey to be reduced to 6 hours: Gadkari        HC grants anticipatory bail to Punjabi singer Gurdas Maan        
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International News
Female footballers from Afghanistan flee to Pakistan to escape Taliban
 
Karachi,Female footballers of Afghanistan's national junior girls team, who had been in hiding following threats from the Taliban, crossed the Torkham border along with their families to reach Pakistan on Tuesday night.

The footballers, who were facing threats from the Taliban due to their involvement in sports, escaped to Pakistan after Islamabad issued emergency humanitarian visas to evacuate them from their country following the Taliban takeover, Dawn News reported.

The footballers belonging to the national junior girls team were originally due to travel to Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, but were left stranded after a bomb blast at the Kabul airport on August 26.

While most of the Afghanistan national women’s team had flown out in the last week of August after an arrangement with the Australian government, the youth team was unable to get flights because they lacked passports and other documentation. They had since been in hiding to evade the Taliban.

The move to bring the 32 footballers — a total of 115 people, including their families — to Pakistan was initiated by British-based NGO Football for Peace in cooperation with the Pakistan government and the Pakistan Football Federation of Ashfaq Hussain Shah, which isn’t recognised by FIFA.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino had visited the Afghan refugees during his trip to Doha last week, but the global football body has been criticised for its inaction in aiding the junior female footballers who were still in Afghanistan.

“We launched these efforts a few weeks ago and we’re extremely thankful to the government and PFF president Ashfaq Hussain Shah and vice president Aamir Dogar for facilitating us,” Pakistan ambassador of Football for Peace Sardar Naveed Haider Khan, a former member of Ashfaq’s PFF, told Dawn on Tuesday night.

The footballers will proceed from Peshawar to Lahore where they will be housed at the PFF headquarters.

“We are supporters of humanity,” Ashfaq told Dawn on Tuesday night. “When we learnt about this, we immediately acted and tried our best to help them reach Pakistan as quickly as possible.”


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