Cabinet will mull over airspace closure to India: minister

Updated October 22, 2019

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Matter will be raised following Indian forces' atrocities against Kashmiri people. — AP/File
Matter will be raised following Indian forces' atrocities against Kashmiri people. — AP/File

TAXILA: Minister for Civil Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan has said that Pakistan will reconsider airspace closure to India during the upcoming cabinet meeting in view of unprovoked ceasefire violations and atrocities against Kash­miri people by Indian forces.

He was speaking to reporters after the inauguration ceremony of Canola Subsidy Scheme under the Prime Minister Agricul­ture Emergency Programme in his native town Pind Nowsheri Khan on Monday.

He said that the federal cabinet would consider restrictions of air routes to India during its meeting this week.

Responding to a question about Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam’s (JUI-F) ‘Azadi March’, he said that the government wanted to hold negotiations with Maulana Fazlur Rehman to settle issues peacefully as the protest could affect the issue of Kashmir. He said that two different committees formed by the prime minister and led by Minister for Defence Pervez Khattak would soon meet Maulana Fazl, which would help settle down things. He, however, ruled out a one-on-one meeting between the JUI-F chief and Prime Minister Imran Khan.

He said the JUI-F chief was not clear whether his sit-in was for Kashmir or against the democratic PTI government.

The aviation minister said that the PTI government would not allow anyone to disrupt the law and order situation in the country, adding that action would be taken in accordance with the law and constitution against those who would resort to anarchy. He said that any attempt to destabilise the country would be foiled. He said that the PTI government was putting in efforts to revive the economy and overcome the challenges faced by the country.

Earlier, addressing the participants of the ceremony, Mr Sarwar said that the present government was committed to the development of agriculture and taking revolutionary steps as it was indispensable to improve the country’s economy.

Punjab Agriculture Minister Malik Nauman Ahmad, while speaking on the occasion, said Pakistan was importing oil worth millions of rupees every year as only about 12 per cent of oil was being produced locally.

He said the Punjab government was providing share of Rs3 billion in the oil seed crop development programme.

Mr Ahmad said: “The programme has been started at the national level to attain self-reliance in edible oil.” He said that under the programme, farmers would be given a subsidy of Rs5,000 per acre of land for the cultivation of canola.

Later, Mr Ahmad launched a project to provide subsidy on canola cultivation to farmers.

Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2019