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Pakistani, Indian officials meet over PIA issue.

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistani and Indian officials Tuesday held meetings to resolve the issue of PIA after Indian authorities issued notices to the airline asking to dispose of its unauthorized purchased property in New Delhi.

Spokesman of PIA Rana Hanif confirmed that Pakistani High Commissioner in India Abdul Basit has started raising the issue with concerned authorities in India, though he refused to comments on today's meeting with Indian officials in Islamabad and New Delhi.

Foreign Office's Spokesperson Tasneem Aslam told that PIA has asked to only concentrate on the legal aspect of the issue.

She refused to go into details as the issue is under consideration at proper level.

Nevertheless, diplomatic sources and PIA officials on condition of anonymity are confirming that the issue is not only being raised at the departmental level but also through diplomatic channels involving both the high commission of India and Pakistan in Islamabad and New Delhi.

Basit met Indian foreign Secretary in New Delhi to utilize diplomatic channels for resolving the issue and in Pakistan Indian High Commissioner was also urged to look into the issue for early resolution.

Three days ago, India's Directorate of Enforcement in the notice to Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) noted that the properties in New Delhi were acquired in contravention of the Foreign Exchange Management Act and without prior permission from the Reserve Bank of India.

"We informed the Indian Reserve Bank in 2005, when the property was being acquired or purchased. According to my knowledge all legal requirements were met," said the PIA spokesman.

He said that two aero planes of PIA, the only flag bearer airline of the country, travels India from Pakistan a week that earns Rs 17 lacs or 6.8 million in rupees per month.

The spokesman clarified that so far no litigation was filed as Indian authorities issued notices to PIA directly and hoped that it could be resolved soon.

Another problem that was created by Indian authorities for PIA is no extension of the visas of Pakistan's national carrier staff and issued orders for Station Manager Saeed Ahmed to leave New Delhi.

Pakistani and India officials also discussed the visas issues, the sources informed. Tasneem Aslam has already said that the issue of visas for PIA employees in India would be resolved soon. She also said that PIA had been directed to initiate litigation on the property issue.

Pakistan and India ties came again under enormous stress after India's BSF killed two ranger soldiers along LoC on December 31 followed by Indian army firing killing a 13year old girl, Sumaira in residential areas of Zafarwal on Jan 2. Now the raising of the Issue pertaining PIA is a further attempt of stressing the ties.

The tension between the two countries is apparently skillfully made up at a time when Pakistan is quite busy in war against terrorists inside the country getting successes in North Waziristan's ZarbeAzb operation and enhancing ties with Afghanistan.

Spokesperson Tasneem Aslam several times stated that Pakistan was against all forms of terrorism and that India's motive of continued and unprovoked firing at the Working Boundary was in fact meant to divert Pakistan's focus and efforts away from the war on terror.

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Publication:The Frontier Star (Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jan 21, 2015
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