Reciprocating to India's decision to remove all the temporary restrictions on all air routes, a senior Pakistani government official on Saturday said they will also lift the airspace ban along its eastern border with India anytime soon. Reacting to India's decision, a senior official of the Pakistan government said, "Once the Indian government lifts the air restriction on Pakistani flights, Pakistan is likely to reciprocate it".
The official told PTI that India has yet to inform Pakistan about lifting of airspace ban for its flights. "We only heard about this through the media as no communication in this respect has taken place as yet. We may follow the suit once India lifts air restrictions on our flights, he added.
The statement from Pakistan’s side comes hours after the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Friday announced on Twitter, "Temporary restrictions on all air routes in the Indian airspace, imposed by the Indian Air Force on 27 Feb 19, have been removed".
The IAF said it had removed restrictions that were imposed on all routes a day after its 12 Mirage 2000s crossed over to Pakistan and attacked a Jaish terrorist training camp in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Pakistan fully closed its airspace on February 27 following an IAF strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp in Balakot. On March 27, it opened its airspace for all flights except for New Delhi, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. On May 15, Pakistan extended its airspace ban for flights to India till May 30.
As a result of the ban, foreign carriers using Indian airspace have been forced to take costly detours because they cannot fly over Pakistan. The closure mainly affects flights from Europe to Southeast Asia. The flights from Europe and the US flying in and out of New Delhi have been the worst hit.
Thousands of travellers suffer flight cancellations, delays and soaring ticket prices due to Pakistan's decision to close its airspace for flights to and from India.
(With inputs from agencies)