Pakistan, India are on brink of war — Foreign Minister 

Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi addressing the public gathering at Rangeel Pur on September 15, 2019. (APP)
Updated 16 September 2019

Pakistan, India are on brink of war — Foreign Minister 

  • Urges the international community to respond to the crisis in Kashmir
  • PM Khan to highlight the situation at the United Nations General Assembly next week

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Sunday that nuclear-capable Pakistan and India were standing on the brink of war after tensions heightened in Indian administered Kashmir post New Delhi’s August 5 constitutional amendment.
Speaking at a rally in Multan on Sunday, Qureshi said that Pakistan was using all diplomatic channels to highlight the situation in Indian-administered Kashmir, calling on the international community to respond to the crisis and take cognizance of the situation in Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir.
He warned that in case of a war, not only the region but the entire world would be bearing the brunt of the crisis.
Qureshi reiterated that Pakistan was determined to fight for the cause of Kashmiris all over the world, before challenging Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address a public gathering in Indian-administered Kashmir to gauge their views. “I challenge Modi to come to Jammu and Kashmir and seek support from people of his initiative,” he said.
On August 5, India revoked the special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370, placing the area under a complete lock-down thereafter.
Islamabad has been extremely critical of the restrictions imposed, with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing a public rally in Muzaffarabad – the capital city of Azad Kashmir – on September 13.
He is scheduled to address the United Nations’ General Assembly on September 27, where he has pledged to speak for the rights of Kashmiris.
Pakistan in recent weeks had also called for an international investigation into the situation in the valley.


EU safety agency suspends Pakistani airlines’ European authorization

Updated 01 July 2020

EU safety agency suspends Pakistani airlines’ European authorization

  • The step has been taken due to concerns about the country’s ability to ensure compliance with international aviation standards
  • PIA expects the ‘earliest possible’ lifting of suspension after action by the government and the airline

ISLAMABAD: The European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) has suspended Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) authorization to fly to the bloc for six months, the airline said on Tuesday, in a major blow to the country’s flag carrier.
Separately, the safety agency said it took the action due to concerns about the country’s ability to ensure compliance with international aviation standards at all times.
The suspension follows Pakistan’s grounding of 262 of the country’s 860 pilots — including 141 of PIA’s 434 — whose licenses the aviation minister termed “dubious.”
“EASA has temporarily suspended PIA’s authorization to operate to the EU member states for a period of six months effective July 1, 2020 with the right to appeal,” PIA said in a statement. It added it would temporarily discontinue all its flights to Europe.
Confirming the move in an emailed statement, the EASA referred to a recent investigation by Pakistan which it said showed a “large share” of pilot licenses to be invalid.
Pakistan’s grounding of the pilots followed a preliminary report on a PIA crash in Karachi that killed 97 people last month.
PIA said it is in contact with the EASA to take corrective measures and appeal against the decision, adding that it expected the “earliest possible” lifting of the suspension after action by the government and the airline.
The EASA also suspended the authorization of another Pakistani airline, Vision Air International.
Vision Air International did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
Following the EASA’s decision, the UK Civil Aviation Authority said it, too, was withdrawing PIA’s permit to operate from three of its airports, as required under law.
“PIA flights from Birmingham, London Heathrow and Manchester airports are suspended with immediate effect,” a spokesman for the UK authority told Reuters.
The three were major flying destinations for the airline.
Meanwhile, Pakistani pilots and their union, the Pakistan Airlines Pilots Association (PALPA), say there are discrepancies in the government’s list of pilots with licenses deemed dubious and are demanding a judicial investigation.
PIA and private airline Air Blue have also queried the list with PIA saying 36 of its pilots mentioned had either retired or left the airline, while Air Blue said it no longer employed seven of nine pilots on the list.
“It contains names of highly educated and qualified pilots who have passed all the tests,” PALPA’s president, Chaudhry Salman, told Reuters. “We want a fair and impartial resolution to this matter.”
An official at Pakistan’s aviation ministry, Abdul Sattar Khokhar, said they did not have full details of the discrepancies. “The issue is being sorted out in consultation with airlines and civil aviation authorities.”