Pakistan’s partially opens its airspace on Thursday

Passengers stranded at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok on February 28, after Thai Airways canceled 11 European-bound flights; Pakistan closed its airspace as tensions with India mounted the carrier said February 28, a move affecting thousands of passengers at the height of the country’s busy tourist season. (AFP)
Updated 28 February 2019

Pakistan’s partially opens its airspace on Thursday

  • Air Arabia G9825 is the first flight to leave Pakistan, Aviation Authority says
  • Pakistan had close its airspace on Wednesday amid growing tensions with India

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has announced to partially open its airspace, confirmed the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Thursday.
“Pakistani Airspace has just been opened for some flights. Air Arabia #G9825 is the first flight to leave Pakistan,” the CAA tweeted.
The CAA had earlier announced that all international and domestic flights operations would remain suspended across the country, after Pakistan closed its airspace for commercial use amid growing tension between Islamabad and New Delhi. 
The authority has also advised passengers to stay in touch with their airlines for timely update on any further changes.
Airlines from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, and Thailand have suspended their flights after Pakistan announced to close down its airspace on Wednesday.
According to AFP, thousands of tourists were stranded in Bangkok after Thai Airways canceled all flights over Pakistan. Meanwhile, the AP reported that Pakistan’s temporary closure of its air space has snarled air traffic especially between Asia and Europe. 

A day earlier, on Wednesday, Pakistan’s military said it had shot down two Indian Air Force planes in its airspace and captured one Indian pilot.
The incident follows a day after Indian jets had violated the Line of Control (LoC) which divides the disputed Kashmir region.
Tensions have remained high between Pakistan and India since February 14 when a suicide bomber killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary troopers in the Pulwama district of Indian-administered Kashmir.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Pakistan suspended the Samjhauta Express train service between the two nuclear armed neighbors, too.
“The operation of Samjhauta Express has been suspended today, in view of the prevailing tensions between Pakistan and India,” Pakistan’s Foreign Minister said in a statement.
“Samjhauta Express will resume its operations as soon as the security situation improves between India and Pakistan,” the statement read.


Pakistan army denies reports of joint border patrols with Iran

Updated 09 December 2019

Pakistan army denies reports of joint border patrols with Iran

  • Patrolling operations on respective sides are conducted by respective forces, military spokesman says
  • Last month, army chief visited Tehran for security talks

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan army spokesperson on Monday rejected media reports suggesting that Pakistani and Iranian security forces conducted joint border patrolling.
“News published by Dawn today ('Pak-Iran Forces jointly conduct border patrolling') is factually incorrect,” Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, said in a tweet.
He added that “there is no joint patrolling anywhere on Pakistani borders” as “patrolling operations if required are always on respective sides by respective forces through coordination.”

The English-language daily reported earlier on the day that Pakistan and Iran had conducted another joint patrol on the border near Taftan town in Chagai district, Balochistan.
Soon after Ghafoor's comment, Dawn's editor Zaffar Abbas clarified that “the confusion was caused by the official news agency APP, as the picture caption said ‘joint patrolling.’ Radio Pak also tweeted the same. But we will be carrying out correction in light of your statement.”

Border security has long been a major cause of distrust in Pakistan-Iran relations. 
In April, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that the two countries would form a joint quick-reaction force to combat militant activity on their shared border, following a deadly attack on Pakistani security personnel on the coastal highway in southwestern Balochistan, where 14 soldiers lost their lives.
On Nov. 18, Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Tehran for security talks with Iran's political leadership and military leadership.
In May this year, Pakistan began the fencing of certain areas along the 950-kilometer border it shares with Iran.