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Pakistan sets Skardu airport ready for international operations, India says ‘interference in our internal matters’

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International airport Skardu. Photo: Twitter/PCAA

Day after Pakistan said that the Skardu airport is ready to begin international operations, India on Thursday said the decision of Pakistan authorities to upgrade Skardu airport and make it operational for international flights would be “interference in India’s internal matters”.

“I would not like to speak about any specific development in detail. You know our position and stand on Pakistan-administered Kashmir. It is interference in our internal matters,” the Ministry of External Affairs India spokesman Arindam Bagchi told reporters in the weekly briefing.

“We do not accept this. I will not make any comment on one specific development,” Bagchi said, adding, “I don’t want to comment on any specific development except that our position over this has been clear”.

The status of the Skar­du Airport has been ‘upgraded’ and it will start operating as an international airport, Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority said on Thursday. Skardu is a city located in Gilgit−Baltistan.

“In line with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision master plan to promote tourism across the country, Skardu Airport starts operating as an international airport from December 2, 2021,” a spokesman for the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority said in a tweet.

Pertinently, in January 2020, Pakistan’s Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan had announced the decision to upgrade Skardu airport to international standards.

The up gradation of the airport included the construction of a new runway, new terminal building, apron, and provision of other facilities to cater to international flight operations.

Khan had also said at the time that the Skardu airport was listed among the world’s highest altitude airports, adding that it had become one of the busiest airports in Pakistan.

 

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