Tuesday May 17, 2022

Pakistani Hindu Council proposes flights for pilgrims to India

By News Report
January 26, 2022
Pakistani Hindu Council proposes flights for pilgrims to India

NEW DELHI: Despite a complete standstill in trade and travel between Pakistan and India, a new proposal by the Pakistan Hindu Council to allow Hindu, Muslim and Sikh pilgrims to travel by air has been forwarded by the Pakistan government, Indian media reported on Tuesday.

According to sources, the proposal was sent to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) from the Pakistan High Commission in Delhi on behalf of the Pakistan Hindu Council (PHC) chief patron Ramesh Vankwani, asking that two chartered flights of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) carrying pilgrims be allowed to fly from Lahore and Karachi to destinations in India this Saturday.

The MEA did not respond to enquiries about whether permissions were likely within the next few days, or at all. A senior official of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) also said that “no request has been received from the airline at present.” Officials also pointed to the fact that Pakistan denied overflight permission to Srinagar-Sharjah flights that began in November last year, and India refused to allow PIA flights to take Indian pilgrims to Pakistan in December, to stress that the proposal would need a political push on both sides. If clearances are received, this would be the first PIA flight to travel to India since operations were suspended in 2019.