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Amit Shah Flags Off Srinagar-Sharjah Flight; Omar Abdullah Opines On Pak Airspace Permit

Reacting to the development, former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said it was good to see that refusal of airspace usage by Pakistan was a thing of the past.

Omar Abdullah

Image: PTI/ANI


Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday flagged off the Srinagar-Sharjah international flight route from J&K's Sheikh Ul-Alam International Airport. Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia joined the inauguration online from New Delhi.

“We declare it open from today. This will help in boosting tourism and bring more investment in the Union Territory,” Shah said while inaugurating the flight service.

Flights from Srinagar will now cross the Pakistani air space to reach Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates. Reacting to the development, former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said it was good to see that refusal of airspace usage by Pakistan was a thing of the past.

“Perhaps there is hope for relations between the two countries,” he tweeted, nearly half an hour after his previous post in which he had questioned if Pakistan has allowed its air space to be used.

“The Srinagar-Sharjah flight that has been announced today – has Pakistan had a change of heart and allowed flights originating from Srinagar to use its airspace? If not then this flight will die the way the Srinagar-Dubai flight died during UPA2,” he said.

Omar recalled that due to Pakistan’s objection to allow flights originating from Srinagar, the SXR-DXB flight had to take a ‘technical halt’ in Delhi or had to fly south and go around Pakistan airspace, which made the flight completely unviable both in terms of cost and time.

'Inaugurating Flights Won't Solve Issues'

Meanwhile, PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti said that home minister Amit Shah inaugurating international flights from Srinagar and laying the foundation of new medical colleges was a cosmetic step that will not address the 'actual' problems in J&K.

"HM inaugurating international flights from Srinagar and laying the foundation of new medical colleges isn't new. Half a dozen medical colleges were sanctioned by the UPA government and are functional now. Post Article 370 abrogation and an engineered crisis, J&K has been thrown into chaos," the former CM said in a tweet.

Union Minister Amit Shah is on an official visit to Jammu and Kashmir, his first since the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019. On reaching the UT, shah immediately drove to meet the family members of a police officer killed by terrorists. Later, he cleared a meeting to review the security situation in the valley.

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