Srinagar: Citing close proximity of Jammu and Kashmir with the Central Asian countries, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday expressed hope that the new government in Pakistan will allow international flights originating from Srinagar to fly over its air space.
"One hopes with a new dispensation in Pakistan, one hopes with encouraging voices emerging from new Prime Minister of Pakistan about normalising the relations to some extent between our two countries, perhaps this (use of airspace) is one aspect that can also be normalised," Mr Abdullah said.
He was addressing a conference on 'Cooperation, Development, Peace and Security in Central Asia' at the Kashmir University in Srinagar.
Mr Abdullah said the flight distance between Srinagar and some of the capital cities of Central Asian republics is shorter than the distance between Srinagar and some larger Indian cities.
"Unfortunately, because of the cussed mindset of our neighbour on the western frontier that does not allow a direct flight from Srinagar to overfly their airspace, we have not been able to take advantage of this connect that was available to us," he said.