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Pakistan Denies Airspace Access to Indian Aid Flight Bound for Earthquake-Stricken Turkey and Syria

New Delhi, India – In the aftermath of a devastating 7.9 magnitude earthquake in Turkey and Syria, the Indian Air Force was set to deliver much-needed humanitarian aid to the affected region. However, early Tuesday morning, Pakistan denied access to its airspace, causing the flight to take a detour.

The Indian National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams, equipped with modern drilling equipment, medics, and rescue dogs, have already arrived at Adana airport, ready to provide aid to the survivors. The Indian Army is also mobilizing a field hospital to offer medical assistance.


Picture: Kumaon Jagran

This is not the first time Pakistan has prevented India from sending aid to neighboring countries. In 2021, after the Taliban takeover of Pakistan, India was also denied access to Pakistani airspace. However, in December 2021, Pakistan allowed trucks carrying 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat and life-saving drugs to Afghanistan, citing “exceptional basis for humanitarian purposes."

The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) of Turkey and the White Helmets in Syria are facing significant challenges in their rescue efforts due to a lack of manpower, making the aid from India all the more crucial. Despite criticism from the international community, Pakistan's move to block the Indian aid flight is expected to face significant backlash.

The earthquake in Turkey and Syria has resulted in over 4,800 deaths and tens of thousands injured, with many still trapped beneath.

The Indian mission to Turkey will help with rescue efforts in Turkey. The Turkish embassy in India has thanked the Indian government for the help it has provided. “First batch of earthquake relief material along with NDRF’s special search & rescue teams and trained dog squads just arrived in Turkiye. Thank you India for your support and solidarity," the Turkish embassy said in a tweet.

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