|HOME | NEWS | REPORT|
May 8, 2000
IA to resume flights to Kathmandu
Indian Airlines will soon resume its flights to Kathmandu, suspended after the hijacking of IC 814 in the last week of December 1999. The ministries of civil aviation of both countries will announce the dates within the next two days.
The agreement was made at a meeting between the visiting Nepalese foreign minister Chakra Prasad Bastola and Indian external affairs minister Jaswant Singh.
Bastola arrived in New Delhi yesterday and held several rounds of talks with senior ministers today. He will call on senior leaders tomorrow, including the President and prime minister before departing for Kathmandu on May 10.
Indian Airlines had suspended all flights to and from Kathmandu after its flight IC 814 was hijacked. During subsequent talks with Nepalese authorities, India had demanded that Nepal must hand over the security at Kathmandu airport to Indian agencies, a suggestion Kathmandu balked at.
"India has noted with appreciation the steps taken by the Nepalese civil aviation ministry to strengthen security for all foreign airlines," a foreign ministry spokesman announced today.
It is learnt that Nepal will allow Indian security agencies to frisk passengers at the final checkpoint. In this manner, India's security concerns and Nepalese sensitivities will both be taken care of.
Incidentally, many foreign airlines have their own security agents at international airports in addition to the security provided by the host countries.
Besides resuming flights to Nepal, Singh and Bastola also had a "full and frank discussion on all matters," the Ministry of External Affairs spokesman said. The spokesman added India and Nepal discussed mutual security concerns, an euphemism for India's worry that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agents have been operating out of Nepalese territory.
India has also agreed to provide a fresh package of assistance to Nepal, details of which will be discussed later. The MEA spokesman said the Nepalese foreign minister invited Jaswant Singh to Nepal to inaugurate the 22 bridges built by India at a cost of Rs 600 million.
India has also agreed to extend by one year (up to May 2001) the Phulbari transit route that enables Nepal to send goods across India to Bangladesh.
Besides Phulbari, the Indo-Nepalese Treaty of Transit allows for 15 transit points to Calcutta besides 22 entry and exit points for Indo-Nepalese bilateral trade.
SINGLES | NEWSLINKS | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEATHER | MILLENNIUM | BROADBAND | E-CARDS | EDUCATION
HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK