Pakistan refuses use of its airspace for flights from J&K’s Srinagar to Sharjah, which was revived after 11 years. The move will affect the people of Jammu and Kashmir the most.
The matter has been reported to ministries concerned, including the civil aviation ministry, the external affairs ministry and the home ministry, the agency reported. During his recent visit to the Valley, Union home minister Amit Shah flagged off the first flight from Srinagar to Sharjah .
National Conference leader and former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah said the development is very unfortunate. “Pakistan did the same this with teh Air India Express flight from Srinagar to Dubai in 2009-2010. I had hoped that GoFirst airways being permitted to overfly Pak airspace was indicative of a thaw in relations but alas that wasn’t to be,” Abdullah tweeted on Wednesday.
PDP president Mehbooba Mufi slammed the government and said flagging the flight off was only a ‘PR extravaganza without any groundwork’. “Puzzling that GOI didn’t even bother securing permission from Pakistan to use its airspace for international flights from Srinagar. Only PR extravaganza without any groundwork,” she tweeted.
The withdrawal of the permission comes at a time when the Pakistan government is allowing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s special VVIP flight to use its airspace. In PM Modi’s recent visit to Italy for the G20 summit, PM Modi’s flight flew over the Pakistani airspace and came back using the same route.
Now that the permission has been reportedly withdrawn, the flight is taking a longer route over Rajasthan, Gujarat to fly to Dubai.