Pakistan’s airspace still closed, may open today
Published: 01:13 PM, 1 March 2019
Pakistan’s civil aviation authority says the country’s air space remains closed for all domestic and international flights because of continuing tensions with neighboring India.
In a statement, the agency said the government decision about the closure of the air space will remain effective until 1 pm on Friday, after which authorities will announce whether they are reopening it or keeping the airspace closed.
Islamabad closed its air space on Wednesday after saying that Pakistan’s military had shot down two Indian warplanes and captured a pilot, escalating tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals. The pilot is expected to be handed back to India later in the day, a move that could de-escalate the crisis.
The closing of Pakistan’s airspace forced may airlines to reshuffle their flights, causing problems for passengers.
Pakistan is preparing to hand over a captured Indian pilot as shelling continued for a third night across the disputed Kashmir border even as the two nuclear-armed neighbors seek to defuse the most serious confrontation in two decades.
Tens of thousands of Indian and Pakistani soldiers face off against each other along the disputed Himalayan border known as the Line of Control in one of the world most volatile regions.
Tensions have been running high since Indian aircraft crossed into Pakistan on Tuesday. Pakistan retaliated, shooting down two Indian aircraft and capturing a pilot.
World leaders have scrambled to head off an all-out war on the Asian subcontinent. Saudi Arabia's foreign minister is expected in Islamabad later Friday.
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