Flight operations have been suspended across major airports in Pakistan due to the escalating tensions between Pakistan and India, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced on Wednesday.
The Pakistan's aviation authority made the announcement on Twitter after the Director General, Inter-Services Public Relation (DG ISPR), acknowledged the closure of Pakistan's airspace due to the prevailing security situation, according to Pakistan leading daily Dawn.It is believed that the step was taken in view of escalation of tension between India and Pakistan after IAF struck down terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed's camp in Balakot, killing up to 350 terrorists. The relation between India and Pakistan have worsened after February 14 Pulwama attack in which more than 40 CRPF personnel were killed.
Confirming the development, Lahore airport manager told the Geo News that flight operations at Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Islamabad airports have been suspended.
All incoming and outgoing local and international flights have been suspended until further orders, he was quoted as saying.
According to manager, "A flight from Guanghzou, China has been sent back."
The news channel quoting its sources said a passenger airplane was stopped from taking off from Bacha Khan International Airport in Peshawar following the orders of Civil Aviation Authority.
Earlier today, India closed several airports close to the Line of Control (LoC) for civilian air traffic. According to government sources, flights to Jammu, Srinagar, Chandigarh, Leh, Amritsar, Pathankot, Dehradun and Dharamshala have been suspended till further notice.Earlier in the day, Indian news agency ANI had reported that Indian forces struck down a Pakistan F-16 aircraft that violated the Indian airspace. A parachute was seen as the F-16 went down, however, the condition of the pilot is still unknown, reported ANI.
Refuting India's claim of shooting down Pakistan's F-16 aircraft, the DG ISPR said that Pakistan had not used F-16 in entire operation and no Pakistani fighter jet has been hit.
Addressing a press conference, Pakistan's Director General (DG) Inter-Services Public Relation (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor on Wednesday claimed that it undertook strikes across the border from Pakistani airspace. He claimed that Pakistan Air Force (PAF) shot down two Indian aircrafts inside Pakistani airspace and two Indian pilots have been arrested.
(With inputs from PTI)
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar