In the ongoing tension between India and Pakistan, the only common man of both countries is suffering from various problems. Recently, Pakistan allowed Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to fly directly through Pakistani airspace. It should be appreciated. It is learnt that this was done on the special request of India. But the million dollar question is that what is the mistake of a common man of India and Pakistan?
It is worth mentioning that after the Balakot strikes on February 26, 2019, Pakistan closed its airspace for flights to and from India. On account of Pakistan’s this decision, thousands of travellers continue to suffer flight cancellations, delays and soaring ticket prices. Without special permission from Pakistan, Sushma Swaraj’s flight would have taken nearly eight hours each way. However, it took four hours to reach the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek through Pakistani airspace. After banning by Pakistan on Indian flights, an estimated 350 flights have been affected every day for the past three months.
According to Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mohammad Faisal, the Indian government had requested Pakistan to allow Sushma Swaraj to fly over Pakistan to avoid the longer route. After Narendra Modi government’s request, the Pakistani Prime Minister gave the permission. Sushma Swaraj had attended the SCO Foreign Minister’s meet in Kyrgyzstan on May 21 and 22, along with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. The government denied that the two leaders held talks on the sidelines of the conference. But they had held a brief conversation in the special lounge.
According to sources, Air India has seen a daily loss of Rs 5-7 crore due to the added fuel costs and flight times. Similarly, Pakistan’s civil aviation authority has also suffered major losses in overflight fees. Senior Pakistani defence and aviation officials are due to meet on May 30 to decide on lifting the airspace ban. Pakistan’s government said that the ban on Indian flights was put in place to stop further strikes by India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also expected to travel to Bishkek soon, in order to attend the SCO summit on June 13-14. Before this, it is hoped that Pakistan will lift its ban.