Pakistan Refused Air-route To International Flights To Kashmir: Omar26 July 2011
Times of India
Srinagar: Chief minister Omar Abdullah has castigated Pakistan government for refusing air-route to international flights to the Srinagar airport. The Government of India in August 2006 had upgraded the status of Srinagar airport to international airport. To begin with the government started Indian airlines flights directly from Srinagar airport to Dubai in February 2009. 'We used to operate one weekly flight on Sundays only and charge Rs 7000 per passenger as the airfare. However, we discontinued the operation since January 2010 as we did not get the sufficient passengers from Srinagar to Dubai,' Indian airlines manager Mohammad Iqbal Dar said. Chief minister Omar Abdullah, however, on Monday revealed that the Srinagar-Dubai flights were discontinued in 2010 due to the refusal of air-route over Pakistan by the government of Pakistan. Speaking at a function at Qazigund the chief minister said, 'Many people blamed the Indian airlines for stopping the operation of the international flights from Srinagar to Dubai but the fact is that it was Pakistan who objected to the operation of these flights.' Omar said, India always wanted to maintain good relations with Pakistan but by obstructing the international flights directly to Srinagar exposed Pakistan's disinterest in the development of Jammu and Kashmir. The chief minister has asked the centre to take up the issue with the Pakistan foreign minister in the forthcoming meeting of two foreign ministers in New Delhi.