India has requested Pakistan through diplomatic channels to allow Go First’s Srinagar-Sharjah flight to use its airspace, keeping in mind the more significant interest of ordinary people who have booked the tickets on this service, government officials said on Thursday.
On Tuesday, the development came after Pakistan had not allowed the Srinagar-Sharjah flight to use its airspace, forcing it to take a longer route and fly over Gujarat to reach its destination in the UAE.
Go First had started direct flights between Srinagar and Sharjah from October 23. Union Home Minister Amit Shah inaugurated the service during his visit to the Valley last month.
According to the officials, till October 31, the Srinagar-Sharjah-Srinagar service was going through Pakistan airspace.
However, Pakistan on Tuesday did not allow the flight to pass through its airspace. Therefore, the service had to take a longer route, going over Gujarat, adding around 40 minutes to the flight time on the onward journey and the return journey, they said.
A longer route means higher fuel consumption, which may push the airline to increase the ticket prices or turn this non-stop service into a one-stop service.
Therefore, the officials said that India had requested Pakistan through diplomatic channels to grant the overflight clearance to this flight keeping in mind the larger interest of common people who have booked the tickets on this service.
The Pakistan government is yet to give any specific reason for refusing the permission to the flight, they said.
According to the officials, the flight, which operates four times a week, did not face any issue when it used Pakistan airspace between October 23 and October 31.
Go First has not issued any statement or comment on this matter as yet.
The airline’s Srinagar-Sharjah-Srinagar service is the first service between Jammu and Kashmir and the UAE after 11 years. Air India Express had started a Srinagar-Dubai flight in February 2009, but it was discontinued after some time due to low demand.
Reacting to Pakistan’s action, former J&K chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Wednesday had tweeted, “very unfortunate. Pakistan did the same thing with the Air India Express flight from Srinagar to Dubai in 2009-2010. I had hoped that @GoFirstairways being permitted to overfly Pak airspace was indicative of a thaw in relations, but alas, that wasn’t to be”.
Blaming the Centre, PDP chief and former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti in a tweet, had said, “Puzzling that GoI didn’t even bother securing permission from Pakistan to use its airspace for international flights from Srinagar. Only a PR extravaganza without any groundwork.”
Inaugurating the flight, Shah had said that the commencement of Srinagar-Sharjah services would boost tourism.
“There are many people from Srinagar and Jammu who are settled in the Gulf countries. Many tourists want to come from the Gulf countries to Jammu and Kashmir. The tourism of J&K is going to get a big boost with the commencement of Srinagar-Sharjah flights,” he added.
The officials said the Srinagar-Sharjah flight takes around 3 hours and 40 minutes. In comparison, the return flight takes approximately 3 hours to reach the capital of Jammu and Kashmir if Pakistan airspace is used.
With Islamabad refusing to allow the flight through its airspace, it adds around 40 minutes during the onward and returns journeys, raising fuel and ticket costs, they mentioned.
Jammu: Exodus Day Observed as Black Day
Due to the increasing influence of terrorism, the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits started on this day in 1990. Kashmiri Pandits celebrated this day of expulsion as Black Day.
On Wednesday, Kashmiri displaced Pandits protested by taking out a rally in Jagti. These Kashmiri Pandits said that this dark day is remembered by every Kashmiri Pandit who was forced to leave the Valley. It is the job of the Government of India to conduct an inquiry by setting up a commission, and those who had spoiled the situation in Kashmir should be fed the air of jails. Kashmiri Pandits demonstrated fiercely and on the other hand, demanded that the return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley be ensured.
For the last 32 years, Kashmiri Pandits have been cut off from their own land. Addressing the occasion, Jagti Tenement Committee President Shadi Lal Pandita said that these Kashmiri Pandits had to leave their homes due to terrorism in the Valley, but today this Kashmiri Pandit wants to connect with their soil and establish three big satellite colonies in Kashmir. If the government does this, then 70 thousand Kashmiri Pandit families will go back to the Valley and join their soil. But now, the central government is not taking any step in this direction. Therefore, Kashmiri Pandits should be told the plan with the central government to return to the Valley.
On the other hand, Raj Kumar Tikku said that January 19 would not be forgotten by Kashmiri Pandits. When the situation in Kashmir turned completely against the Kashmiri Pandits and announcements were made on loudspeakers to leave the Valley. Kashmiri Pandits were forced to migrate for their safety and their families. Many Kashmiri Pandits also lost their lives. The Central Government should now constitute an inquiry committee to bring the real culprits to the jails.
J&K: Terrorist Hideout built in middle of park busted
The remaining terrorists in Kashmir are adopting many unique ways to save themselves from the security forces and the police, but now it is not possible to escape the terrorists from the eyes of the security forces and the police.
The Pulwama and Awantipora police, conducting a joint search operation with the Army’s 55 Rashtriya Rifles and the CRPF, have busted a hiding place built in the middle of a garden in Bandarpora, Awantipora. Terrorists often used to hide in this hideout after committing any incident in the area. At present, with the help of security forces, the police have started a search operation in the surrounding areas, demolishing the hideouts of the terrorists. Other details are awaited.
Now the number of active terrorists in Kashmir has remained negligible. This is why the anger of Pakistan across the border has increased. It is well known that Pakistan encourages terrorists in India. Training camps have also been opened for terrorists across the border in Pakistan. Now that the number of terrorists has been reduced considerably, terrorists are engaged in making targets killed with their weapons to register their presence. However, the security forces and the Jammu and Kashmir Police are fully active in thwarting this nefarious design of the terrorists.
Mystery of Lucknow family allegedly missing in J&K solved
The startling revelation came to light on Wednesday about the Lucknow family allegedly missing during their travel to Jammu and Kashmir.
Earlier reports had said that three members of a family from Lucknow — Mehmood Ali Khan, his wife Darakshan and their son, Shavez — had gone missing in Ramban district while they were on their way from Jammu to Srinagar.
Police sources said according to Salim Khan, brother-in-law of Mehmood Ali Khan, all 3 members were murdered by elder son, Sarfaraz Khan on January 5, the day they were leaving towards Jammu by train.
“After disposing of their dead bodies, he meticulously planned to mislead the relatives and police. He clandestinely visited Jammu and Kashmir and messaged via WhatsApp from his father’s mobile phone on 14th January morning in which he posed as his younger brother, Shavez and said that they are stuck on the highway due to landslides.
“He even posted some pictures of the highway,” said the sources.
The details of the case came to light when the J&K police traced the phone in Lucknow that was used to send WhatsApp messages.
Police said Sarfraz had murdered his father, mother and brother in Lucknow itself. On January 6 the body of a youth with a slit throat was found on Lucknow’s Mall Road in the Itaunja area.
Police were unable to identify the body. After this, two more bodies with slit throats were found in the Malihabad area in Lucknow.
After the photographs of the three persons allegedly missing in J&K’s Ramban area were published, police in Lucknow were able to identify all three.
Subsequent investigation revealed that the eldest son of the family, Sarfraz had murdered them. Sarfraz has been taken into custody.
Police said other contacts of Sarfraz are also being questioned. The motive of the gruesome crime is still not known.
- Jammu: Exodus Day Observed as Black Day January 19, 2022
- J&K: Terrorist Hideout built in middle of park busted January 19, 2022
- Mystery of Lucknow family allegedly missing in J&K solved January 19, 2022
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