Amid worsening ties between India and Pakistan, an air traffic controller from Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority saved a plane flying from Jaipur to Muscat, the capital city of Oman, after its pilot sounded alert due to bad weather.
Sources in the aviation authority told news agency PTI that the plane encountered abnormal weather conditions near the Chor area of the southern Sindh province.
According to a report in The News International, the plane, carrying 150 passengers, was flying over Karachi region on Thursday when it got caught in the middle of lightning and dropped down from an altitude of 36,000 feet to 34,000 feet almost immediately.
As a result, the pilot initiated emergency protocol and broadcast “Mayday” to nearby stations.
The air traffic controller from Pakistan responded to the call of the pilot and directed it through the dense air traffic in the vicinity for the remaining journey in the Pakistani airspace.
Pakistan on July 16 opened its airspace for India after some five months of restrictions imposed in the wake of a standoff with New Delhi earlier this year.
Pakistan last month denied India’s request to allow Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s VVIP flight to use its airspace for his visit to Saudi Arabia over the Kashmir issue.
Pakistan downgraded diplomatic relations with India after New Delhi on August 5 revoked special status given to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated it into two union territories.
This development also comes at a time when Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has directly targeted his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the centre. The ties between the two countries have been deteriorating rapidly over the past couple of months.
Before 1947, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh were under the British Raj and a prolonged struggle for independence led by Mahatma Gandhi helped in the attainment of freedom. Pakistan, with Md Ali Jinnah at the helm, was partitioned from India and the two countries have since fought several wars. Bangladesh, which was initially known as East Pakistan became a free nation in 1971 following the Bangladesh Liberation War.
Today, India and Pakistan are at odds with each other and the partial abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian constitution by the ruling regime has further tensed the situation between the two neighbours.