Making a generous move, India takes off restrictions imposed in its airspace after Balakot airstrikes

As Pakistan is still terrified, the Indian Air Force on Friday informed that it had removed the restrictions on all routes in the Indian airspace imposed a day after its air strikes on a Jaish-e-Mohammad terror camp in Balakot in Pakistan on February 27.

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The decision came within a day of Prime Minister Narendra Modi starting his second term in office. India’s decision to open airspace is a gesture for Pakistan to remove their airspace restrictions too and shorten flying distances between parts of South Asia and the west. Armed with this generous decision of Modi-II government, among the first big steps after returning to office, foreign airlines can now approach the UN’s aviation arm ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) and global airline forum of IATA (International Air Transport Association) to put pressure on Pakistan to lift the restrictions.

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An earlier notice to airmen, or a NOTAM, had said that the ban will continue till May 30 as Islamabad was waiting for the results of the Lok Sabha elections in India. The decision to close the airspace had led to flight cancellations, delays and soaring ticket prices as Pakistan lies in the middle of a vital aviation corridor.

Relations between India and Pakistan nose-dive after militants belonging to the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit killed 40 security personnel in Pulwama on February 14. India retaliated by targeting a Jaish camp in Balakot with airstrikes. The airstrikes were described by the Indian government as a “non-military preemptive action”.

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On Wednesday, Pakistan had extended its own ban on the use of its airspace for all transit flights till June 15. The ban has been in place since February 26.


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