DACCA: Pakistan was not able to move civil or military helicopters from West Pakistan to the East Wing for a cyclone relief operation in the province because India was not giving clearance to overfly her territory, the Provincial Relief Commissioner, Mr A.M. Anisuzzaman, said here today [Nov 21]. [He] said the departure of the second C-130 transport plane from West Wing and its arrival in Dacca were also delayed because timely clearance was not given by India to overfly her territory.

He said that the aircrafts now available for air-dropping of relief goods in the affected areas included two C-130 transport planes and an Army helicopter.

Mr Zaman told a questioner that they had received some relief goods that India has sent by Thai Airways by way of Bangkok. He said that in his talk with the First Secretary in the Indian High Commission he had suggested that relief goods could be sent from India across the East Pakistan-West Bengal border at Benapole from where the same could be despatched to the affected areas.

He said that the Deputy Commissioner of Jessore had even gone to the border to see if those relief materials were coming from the Indian side, “But I can’t say why they sent it (relief goods) via Bangkok.”

Published in Dawn, November 22nd, 2020