Srinagar: Pakistan has once again proved to be detrimental to the interests of Kashmiris, belying all its claims about being the benefactor of the people of the valley.
The latest example is the short-circuiting of the dreams of Kashmiris to fly directly to Sharjah from Srinagar.
The direct flight between Srinagar and Sharjah, which was launched with much fanfare by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on October 23 last year, has now been grounded.
The reason for suspension of the service is that Pakistan refused to allow use of its airspace for the flight, making it economically unviable for operations.
The service was being operated by ‘Go First’.
The direct flight had been launched by the government of India in view of demands from Kashmiris, who keep travelling to Sharjah and other destinations in the Gulf.
The government had hoped that the flight would help the tourism industry of Jammu and Kashmir and bring more investments.
However, within 10 days of the launch, Pakistan denied permission for use of its airspace for the flight.
Pakistan did not relent even when the government of India cited the “larger interest” of the common people of Kashmir while requesting for the overflight permission.
Since the overflight permission was denied by Pakistan, the flight was compelled to take a long route, which made the operation economically unviable.