Pakistan is all set to shut its airspace for Indian flights and carriers all over again after India effectively abrogated all provisions of Article 370 and stripped Jammu and Kashmir off its ‘special status’. The Modi government also turned J&K and Ladakh into Union Territories.
According to a report in Times of Islamabad, “Pakistan is anticipating February-like aerial aggression from the Indian side; thus, an airspace closure is deemed necessary”.
The report in Times of Islamabad further quoted the spokesperson of Pakistan International Airlines, Mashood Tajwar, saying that opening the airspace for India didn’t help the airline. He says that operating flights for India is not economically suited due to a low influx of passengers.
Speculations of Pakistan raising its alert status are also rife.
Pakistan’s response unfolds:
1) Airspace closed for #Indian flights
2) Ties w/ India downgraded—Pakistan’s HC 2 India not 2 return 2 Delhi, conforms sources.
3) Alert status raised
4) More measures being considered.
Watch this space.
— Jan Achakzai (@Jan_Achakzai) August 6, 2019
After the Balakot airstrikes where India had gone deep into Pakistan territory and flattened terror camps in Balakot with airstrikes, Pakistan had shut its airspace completely for weeks. Pakistan had in June asserted that it will open its Eastern airspace for flights to and from New Delhi only if India promises not to repeat a Balakot like operation inside Pakistan’s territory. Interestingly, while Pakistan wants India to promise that a Balakot like operation won’t be repeated, when the operation, codenamed ‘Operation Bandar’ had happened, Pakistan had lied that India had managed to burn just a few trees. It was only in July that Pakistan had re-opened its airspace for civilian flights again.
After the Modi government effectively abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir, UAE, Sri Lanka and several other countries have spoken in support of the move. Most countries have categorically maintained that this is an internal matter of India, ignoring the noise Pakistanis seem to be making.
China had raised ‘concerns’ over India’s steps in Kashmir. India had issued a strong statement to China saying that this is an internal matter of the country and just as India doesn’t interfere in the internal matters of other countries, it expects other countries to do the same.