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Pak airspace to be opened to India: PIA chief

July 23, 2003 17:47 IST

Pakistan has in principle agreed to restore rail and air links with India and its flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines will start operating flights to Delhi and Mumbai soon after the decision is formalised.

Chairman of PIA Ahmed Saeed announced the in principle decision to open the airspace in Islamabad on Wednesday.

Tourism Minister Rais Munir also said train links between the two countries will be restored next month.

"All arrangements have been finalised for resumption of train link. The Samjhauta Express will start operation from next month," Munir was quoted as saying by Online News.

India severed all air, road and rail links with Pakistan after the terrorist attack on Parliament on December 13, 2000. The Delhi-Lahore bus service was resumed on July 11.

Munir said Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali has also sent a proposal to India for resuming the suspended air links between the two countries after establishment of bilateral road and rail contacts.

"Tourism is one way of establishing people-to-people contacts in both countries," Munir said, adding youths and sportspersons could play a significant role in resolving all outstanding issues between Islamabad and New Delhi.

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