Blog post by martin

India accused Pakistan of supporting the attackers and Indian aircrafts responded by flying into Pakistani territory bombing a suspected training camp for Jaish-e Mohammed, the terrorist group claimed to be responsible for the bombing of the vehicle convoy.

The next day, fighter jets from both countries were engaged in air-raids inside each other’s territories and troops traded fire along the border in Kashmir. Both countries claimed to have brought down each other’s military jets and Pakistan announced an Indian pilot was captured. Due to the critical situation, Pakistan decided to close the air space and in India, several airports, close to the Pakistan border, were closed.

A few days later Pakistan returned the pilot which eased the situation. Both countries recalled their diplomats for consultations after February 14 but both India and Pakistan have announced the diplomats have returned to the embassies in Islamabad and Delhi.

Rooted in history

In August 1947 Great Britain gave up the colony of India and an agreement was made to divide the colony into two counties, Pakistan, with a Muslim majority, and India, with a Hindu majority. This is what the crisis is about, the region of Jammu and Kashmir, with both countries still claiming sovereignty.

The territory of Jammu and Kashmir, in Himalaya, had a Muslim majority and was ruled by a local prince and when the colonial era ended he signed an agreement to be part of India. Fighting broke out with troops from both countries and today Pakistan occupies one-third of the region and India two-thirds.

Tension between nations create closed borders and limits mobility

While closed airspace and airports are an obstacle for business travellers longstanding disputes between countries also affect the visa application process. Many countries have special application procedures for nationals of rivalling countries. In the case of India and Pakistan, nationals from one country can expect a difficult and longer processing time in order to obtain visas for the other.

The air space of Pakistan is fully reopened since Mar 8th and almost all airports are open for traffic again.