With tensions between India and Pakistan recently boiling over in the disputed area of Kashmir, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has just issued a statement advising all Malaysians to postpone non-essential travel. An excerpt from their statement reads,
“As a country with close and abiding relations with both countries, we encourage them to exercise maximum restraint and to re-engage in dialogue and negotiations. Like many other countries, Malaysia aims at the creation of a peaceful and stable international order.”
“In view of the gravity of this issue, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to advise Malaysians that they should postpone non-essential travel, particularly to the areas directly affected.”
Just yesterday (26th February), tensions began to rise further after Indian fighter jets crossed into Pakistani territory and launched air strikes in what the government termed “non-military pre-emptive action” against alleged terror targets. This comes weeks after an attack took place in Kashmir, according to Al-Jazeera.
Now, in recent developments, BBC News has reported that Pakistan shot down two Indian Air Force jets and arrested two pilots.
Wreckges of Indian fighter planes burning. Well done Pakistan Air Force. The entire nation is proud of you. pic.twitter.com/TTIb1zvNZS
— Information Ministry (@MoIB_Official) February 27, 2019
In the midst of this conflict, India has announced restrictions on its airspace with some flights getting suspended. Meanwhile, according to the Washington Post, Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority says it has shut its airspace to all commercial flights but has not indicated when flights will resume.
If you or anyone you know is planning to travel to either of these countries, please contact the High Commission of Malaysia in New Delhi or the High Commission of Malaysia in Islamabad. You can read the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s entire statement here.
In the latest development, the High Commission of Malaysia in New Delhi has clarified that they have a standard operating procedure for evacuating Malaysians if the situation requires it. The high commission stated that there are about 80 Malaysian families residing in north India and were quoted by the New Straits Times as saying,
“All of them are doing well, given the current situation. As of now, we are advising all Malaysians to avoid unnecessary travels to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, areas bordering Jammu and Kashmir, as well as areas along the India-Pakistan borders.”
Stay tuned for more updates on this developing story.
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