WorldAware is monitoring the Nationalist protests happening in India and Pakistan. Below are the alerts that have been released regarding the tensions between both countries.

Navigate to each of the alert updates below: Repeated closures of Pakistani airspace to transiting international flights to continue until at least May 15.

April 23 | Warning Alert: Repeated closures of Pakistani airspace to transiting international flights to continue until at least May 15.

March 29 | Warning Alert: Repeated closures of Pakistani airspace to transiting international flights to continue until at least early April.

March 20 | Critical Alert: Closure of Pakistani airspace to transiting international flights extended through at least 1500 March 21. Confirm flights.

March 19 | Critical Alert: Closure of Pakistani airspace to transiting international flights extended through at least 1500 March 20. Confirm flights.

March 18 | Critical Alert: Closure of Pakistani airspace to transiting international flights extended through at least 1500 March 19. Confirm flights.

March 15 | Critical Alert: Closure of Pakistani airspace to transiting international flights extended through at least 1500 March 18. Confirm flights.

March 7 | Critical Alert: Pakistani airspace closure extended to 1300 PKT March 8. Flights operational at major airports. Expect lingering disruptions. 

March 6 | Critical Alert: Pakistani airspace closure extended to 1300 PKT March 7. Flights operational at major airports. Expect lingering disruptions.

March 5 | Critical Alert: Pakistani airspace closure extended to 1300 March 6. Flights operational at major airports. Expect lingering disruptions. 

March 4 | Warning Alert: Ethnic group threatens shutdown strike in Manipur, India, March 9-11.

March 4 | Warning Alert: Tribal groups, Dalit activists to hold shutdown strike in India, March 5; rallies through March 7. 

March 3 | Critical Alert: Limited operations resume at Lahore and Faisalabad airports, Pakistan, March 3. Airspace closure still in effect until March 4. 

March 1 | Critical Alert: Pakistan extends airspace closure until 0800 March 4; Karachi, Peshawar Quetta, Islamabad airports resume operations 1800 March 1.

February 28 | Critical Alert: Pakistani officials plan to reopen airspace March 1; international flight disruptions continue in India. 

February 28 | Warning Alert: Opposition parties to hold a mass rally in Ranchi, Jharkhand, India, March 2.

February 27 | Critical Alert: Pakistani officials maintain nationwide airspace closure as of early Feb. 28; international flight disruptions occur in India. 

February 27 | Warning Alert: Malaysia and Singapore issue advisories on travel to Pakistan and India due to ongoing tensions as of Feb. 27.

February 27 | Warning Alert: Indian officials increase security in Delhi, Mumbai, and areas near Pakistan, Feb. 27 amid terrorism threat. Localized disruptions possible.

February 27 | Critical Alert: Authorities in Pakistan close airspace over entire country; airspace over northern India reopened after being closed Feb. 27.

February 26 | Warning Alert: India reportedly strikes JeM militant targets in Pakistan, Feb. 26. Protests possible. Tensions unlikely to impact business operations.


April 23: Repeated closures of Pakistani airspace to transiting international flights to continue until at least May 15.

This alert began 23 Apr 2019 18:38 GMT and is scheduled to expire 15 May 2019 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Airspace closures
  • Location: Pakistan
  • Time Frame: Through at least May 15
  • Impact: International flight disruptions

 

Summary

Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has regularly extended the closure of the nation's airspace to international overflights since Feb. 27; the closure has been extended through at least May 15, with additional extensions possible. Pakistani authorities have reopened the P518 route, which transits southwest Pakistan from the Arabian Sea to eastern Iran. Both domestic and international services remain operational at major airports within Pakistan, though some restrictions remain on flight paths near the border with India. 

The closure of Pakistani airspace to transiting aircraft has disrupted international flights to and from India, as well as flights in the wider region that overfly the India-Pakistan border. Disruptions have been especially notable on routes linking Afghanistan and India. Lingering delays are possible for several days after Pakistani airspace completely reopens to overflights.

 

Background and Analysis 

Pakistani authorities closed their nation's airspace to civilian flights as a precautionary measure Feb. 27 following intrusions by Indian and Pakistani air forces over the Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed Kashmir region. Bilateral tensions were escalated by a Feb. 14 Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) attack in Pulwama District, Jammu and Kashmir State, India, that left more than 40 Indian security personnel dead. Islamabad has longstanding disputes with both New Delhi and Kabul; Pakistani authorities may be extending their airspace closure, at least in part, to disrupt flight connectivity between India and Afghanistan.

 

Advice

Confirm all flights in Pakistan and international flights to and from India through at least mid-May. Monitor local media for any further developments that could escalate military tensions between Pakistan and India. 
 


March 29: Repeated closures of Pakistani airspace to transiting international flights to continue until at least early April.

The locations affected by this alert are: 

  • India
  • Pakistan

This alert began 29 Mar 2019 18:08 GMT and is scheduled to expire 05 Apr 2019 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Airspace closure
  • Location: Pakistan 
  • Time Frame: Through at least early April
  • Impact: International flight disruptions

 

Summary

Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has issued regular extensions to the closure of its airspace to overflights since Feb. 27 and will continue to do so until at least early April. Both domestic and international services remain operational at major airports in the country, though some restrictions remain on flight paths near the border with India. 

The closure of Pakistani airspace to transiting aircraft has disrupted international flights to and from India as well as flights in the wider region that overfly the India-Pakistan border. Lingering disruptions will likely continue for several days after Pakistani airspace reopens to overflights.

 

Background and Analysis 

Pakistani authorities closed their nation's airspace to civilian flights as a precautionary measure Feb. 27 following intrusions by Indian and Pakistani air forces over the Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed Kashmir region. Pakistan shot down at least one Indian Air Force (IAF) jet; Indian officials claimed one Pakistani Air Force (PAF) aircraft was also destroyed during aerial combat. The Feb. 27 dogfights were the first confirmed incidents of significant aerial combat between the IAF and PAF since 1971. The Pakistani military captured one IAF pilot but returned him to India, March 1 as an apparent gesture of goodwill. These tensions were sparked by a Feb. 14 Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) attack in Pulwama District, Jammu and Kashmir State, India, that left more than 40 Indian security personnel dead. No additional airspace violations have been confirmed since Feb. 28, though cross-border firing across the LoC has continued.

 

Advice

Confirm all flights in Pakistan and international flights to and from India through early April. Do not check out of accommodations until onward travel is confirmed. Monitor local media for any further acts by Pakistan or India that could escalate tensions.
 


March 20: Closure of Pakistani airspace to transiting international flights extended through at least 1500 March 21. Confirm flights.

 

The locations affected by this alert are: 

  • India
  • Pakistan

This alert began 20 Mar 2019 09:23 GMT and is scheduled to expire 22 Mar 2019 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Airspace closure
  • Location: Pakistan
  • Start Date: Feb. 27
  • Impact: Flight disruptions

 


Summary

Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has extended its closure of Pakistani airspace to overflying flights through at least 1500 PKT March 21. Both domestic and international services remain operational at major airports in the country, though some restrictions remain on flight paths near the border with India. 

Since Feb. 27, Pakistan's CAA has announced a series of airspace closure extensions. Further airspace restrictions are possible. The closure of Pakistani airspace to transiting aircraft has prompted disruptions on international flights to and from India, and flights in the wider region that overfly the India-Pakistan border. Lingering disruptions will likely continue for several days after Pakistani airspace reopens to overflying flights.

 

Background and Analysis 

Pakistani authorities closed their nation's airspace to civilian flights as a precautionary measure Feb. 27 following intrusions by Indian and Pakistani air forces over the Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed Kashmir region. Pakistan shot down at least one Indian Air Force (IAF) jet; Indian officials claim one Pakistani Air Force (PAF) aircraft was also destroyed during aerial combat. The Feb. 27 dogfights were the first confirmed incidents of significant aerial combat between the IAF and PAF since 1971. The Pakistani military captured one IAF pilot; Pakistan returned the pilot to India March 1 as a goodwill gesture. These tensions were sparked by a Feb. 14 Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) attack in Pulwama District, Jammu and Kashmir State, India, which left over 40 Indian security personnel dead. No additional airspace violations have been confirmed since Feb. 28, though cross-border firing across the LoC has continued.

 

Advice

Confirm flights in Pakistan. Confirm international flights to and from India. Do not check out of accommodations until onward travel is confirmed. Monitor local media for any further acts on the part of Pakistan or India that could escalate tensions.
 


March 19: Closure of Pakistani airspace to transiting international flights extended through at least 1500 March 20. Confirm flights.

 

The locations affected by this alert are: 

  • India
  • Pakistan

This alert began 19 Mar 2019 10:14 GMT and is scheduled to expire 21 Mar 2019 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Airspace closure
  • Location: Pakistan
  • Start Date: Feb. 27
  • Impact: Flight disruptions

 

Summary

Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has extended its closure of Pakistani airspace to overflying flights through at least 1500 PKT March 20. Both domestic and international services remain operational at major airports in the country, though some restrictions remain on flight paths near the border with India. 

Since Feb. 27, Pakistan's CAA has announced a series of airspace closure extensions. Further airspace restrictions are possible. The closure of Pakistani airspace to transiting aircraft has prompted disruptions on international flights to and from India, and flights in the wider region that overfly the India-Pakistan border. Lingering disruptions will likely continue for several days after Pakistani airspace reopens to overflying flights.

 

Background and Analysis 

Pakistani authorities closed their nation's airspace to civilian flights as a precautionary measure Feb. 27 following intrusions by Indian and Pakistani air forces over the Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed Kashmir region. Pakistan shot down at least one Indian Air Force (IAF) jet; Indian officials claim one Pakistani Air Force (PAF) aircraft was also destroyed during aerial combat. The Feb. 27 dogfights were the first confirmed incidents of significant aerial combat between the IAF and PAF since 1971. The Pakistani military captured one IAF pilot; Pakistan returned the pilot to India March 1 as a goodwill gesture. These tensions were sparked by a Feb. 14 Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) attack in Pulwama District, Jammu and Kashmir State, India, which left over 40 Indian security personnel dead. No additional airspace violations have been confirmed since Feb. 28, though cross-border firing across the LoC has continued.

 

Advice

Confirm flights in Pakistan. Confirm international flights to and from India. Do not check out of accommodations until onward travel is confirmed. Monitor local media for any further acts on the part of Pakistan or India that could escalate tensions.
 


March 18: Closure of Pakistani airspace to transiting international flights extended through at least 1500 March 19. Confirm flights.

The locations affected by this alert are: 

  • India
  • Pakistan

This alert began 18 Mar 2019 14:04 GMT and is scheduled to expire 20 Mar 2019 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Airspace closure
  • Location: Pakistan
  • Start Date: Feb. 27
  • Impact: Flight disruptions

 

Summary

Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has extended its closure of Pakistani airspace to overflying flights through at least 1500 PKT March 19. Both domestic and international services remain operational at major airports in the country, though some restrictions remain on flight paths near the border with India. 

Since Feb. 27, Pakistan's CAA has announced a series of airspace closure extensions. Further airspace restrictions are possible in the coming days. Significant flight delays are possible, as carriers will need to clear large backlogs of passengers and air freight. 

The closure of Pakistani airspace to transiting aircraft has prompted disruptions on international flights to and from India, and flights in the wider region that overfly the India-Pakistan border. Lingering disruptions will likely continue for several days after Pakistani airspace reopens to overflying flights.

 

Background and Analysis 

Pakistani authorities closed their nation's airspace to civilian flights as a precautionary measure Feb. 27 following intrusions by Indian and Pakistani air forces over the Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed Kashmir region. Pakistan shot down at least one Indian Air Force (IAF) jet; Indian officials claim one Pakistani Air Force (PAF) aircraft was also destroyed during aerial combat. The Feb. 27 dogfights were the first confirmed incidents of significant aerial combat between the IAF and PAF since 1971. The Pakistani military captured one IAF pilot; Pakistan returned the pilot to India March 1 as a goodwill gesture. These tensions were sparked by a Feb. 14 Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) attack in Pulwama District, Jammu and Kashmir State, India, which left over 40 Indian security personnel dead. No additional airspace violations have been confirmed since Feb. 28, though cross-border firing across the LoC has continued.

 

Advice

Confirm flights in Pakistan. Confirm international flights to and from India. Do not check out of accommodations until onward travel is confirmed. Monitor local media for any further acts on the part of Pakistan or India that could escalate tensions.
 


March 15: Closure of Pakistani airspace to transiting international flights extended through at least 1500 March 18. Confirm flights.

 

The locations affected by this alert are: 

  • India
  • Pakistan

This alert began 15 Mar 2019 13:57 GMT and is scheduled to expire 19 Mar 2019 12:00 GMT.

  • Incident: Airspace closure
  • Location: Pakistan 
  • Start Date: Feb. 27
  • Impact: Flight disruptions

 

Summary

Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has extended its closure of Pakistani airspace to overflying flights through at least 1500 PKT March 18. Both domestic and international services remain operational at major airports in the country, though some restrictions remain on flight paths near the border with India. 

Since Feb. 27, Pakistan's CAA has announced a series of airspace closure extensions. Further airspace restrictions are possible in the coming days. Significant flight delays are possible, as carriers will need to clear large backlogs of passengers and air freight. 

The closure of Pakistani airspace to transiting aircraft has prompted disruptions on international flights to and from India, and flights in the wider region that overfly the India-Pakistan border. Lingering disruptions will likely continue for several days after Pakistani airspace reopens to overflying flights.

 

Background and Analysis 

Pakistani authorities closed their nation's airspace to civilian flights as a precautionary measure Feb. 27 following intrusions by Indian and Pakistani air forces over the Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed Kashmir region. Pakistan shot down at least one Indian Air Force (IAF) jet; Indian officials claim one Pakistani Air Force (PAF) aircraft was also destroyed during aerial combat. The Feb. 27 dogfights were the first confirmed incidents of significant aerial combat between the IAF and PAF since 1971. The Pakistani military captured one IAF pilot; Pakistan returned the pilot to India March 1 as a goodwill gesture. These tensions were sparked by a Feb. 14 Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) attack in Pulwama District, Jammu and Kashmir State, India, which left over 40 Indian security personnel dead. No additional airspace violations have been confirmed since Feb. 28, though cross-border firing across the LoC has continued.

 

Advice

Confirm flights in Pakistan. Confirm international flights to and from India. Do not check out of accommodations until onward travel is confirmed. Monitor local media for any further acts on the part of Pakistan or India that could escalate tensions.
 


March 7: Pakistani airspace closure extended to 1300 PKT March 8. Flights operational at major airports. Expect lingering disruptions. 

  • Incident: Airspace closure and heightened tensions
  • Location: Pakistan and India 
  • Start Date: Feb. 27
  • Impact: Flight disruptions

 

Summary

Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has extended its closure of Pakistani airspace through at least 1300 PKT March 8. However, services at several airports, including those serving Karachi (KHI), Islamabad (ISB), Peshawar (PEW), Quetta (UET), Lahore (LHE), Faisalabad (LYP), Multan (MUX), Turbat (TUK), Gwadar (GWD), Chitral (CJL), and Panjgur (PJG) have fully or partially resumed. Pakistan is also allowing limited overflights of Pakistani airspace, primarily for flights to and from Afghanistan.

A separate notice from Pakistan's CAA stated that Pakistani airports aside from the 11 listed above would remain closed until March 15. The closure of these other airports could be shortened or extended, however.

This is the latest in a series of airspace closure extensions. Further extensions are possible. Significant delays are likely even after services fully resume, as carriers will need to clear large backlogs of passengers and air freight. All airports and airspace in India remain open.

The closure of Pakistani airspace has prompted continued disruptions on international flights to and from India and the wider region; lingering disruptions will likely continue after Pakistani airspace reopens. Also, some airlines that suspended services to India and Pakistan because of the airspace closures may keep services suspended as a precautionary measure, exacerbating the lingering disruptions when the airspace fully reopens.

 

Background and Analysis 

Pakistani authorities closed their nation's airspace to civilian flights as a precautionary measure Feb. 27 following intrusions by Indian and Pakistani air forces over the Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed Kashmir region. Pakistan shot down two Indian Air Force (IAF) jets that violated Pakistani airspace; one Pakistani Air Force (PAF) aircraft was also apparently destroyed during aerial combat. The Feb. 27 dogfights were the first confirmed incidents of significant aerial combat between the IAF and PAF since 1971. The Pakistani military captured one IAF pilot; Pakistan returned the pilot to India March 1 as a goodwill gesture. These tensions were sparked by a Feb. 14 Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) attack in Pulwama District, Jammu and Kashmir State, India, which left over 40 Indian security personnel dead. No additional airspace violations have been confirmed since Feb. 28, though cross-border firing across the LoC has continued. As of March 7, bilateral military tensions have reduced considerably. 

Despite heightened tensions between the two neighbors - who have fought three wars since the Partition in 1947 - in recent weeks, the possibility of an all-out war remains low. Additional shelling is highly likely to be confined to areas along the LoC in the disputed Kashmir region to prevent greater conflict. Nevertheless, air strikes by either country cannot be entirely ruled out and could result in further airspace closures.

 

Advice

Confirm flights in Pakistan through at least March 15. Confirm international flights to and from India. Do not check out of accommodations until onward travel is confirmed. Monitor local media for any further acts on the part of Pakistan or India that could escalate tensions. Refrain from engaging in potentially sensitive discussions with Indian or Pakistani nationals over the current tensions.
 


March 6: Pakistani airspace closure extended to 1300 PKT March 7. Flights operational at major airports. Expect lingering disruptions.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • India
  • Pakistan

This alert began 06 Mar 2019 10:31 GMT and is scheduled to expire 09 Mar 2019 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Airspace closure and heightened tensions
  • Location: Pakistan and India
  • Start Date: Feb. 27
  • Impact: Flight disruptions

 

Summary

Click to enlarge Google map.

Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has extended its closure of Pakistani airspace through at least 1300 PKT March 7. However, services at several airports, including those serving Karachi (KHI), Islamabad (ISB), Peshawar (PEW), Quetta (UET), Lahore (LHE), Faisalabad (LYP), Multan (MUX), Turbat (TUK), Gwadar (GWD), Chitral (CJL), and Panjgur (PJG) have fully or partially resumed.

This is the latest in a series of airspace closure extensions. Further extensions are possible. Significant delays are likely even after services fully resume, as carriers will need to clear large backlogs of passengers and air freight. All airports and airspace in India remain open.

The closure of Pakistani airspace has prompted continued disruptions on international flights to and from India and the wider region; lingering disruptions will likely continue after Pakistani airspace reopens. Also, some airlines that suspended services to India and Pakistan because of the airspace closures may keep services suspended as a precautionary measure, exacerbating the lingering disruptions when the airspace fully reopens.
 

Background and Analysis

Pakistani authorities closed their nation's airspace to civilian flights as a precautionary measure Feb. 27 following intrusions by Indian and Pakistani air forces over the Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed Kashmir region. Pakistan shot down two Indian Air Force (IAF) jets that violated Pakistani airspace; one Pakistani Air Force (PAF) aircraft was also apparently destroyed during aerial combat. The Feb. 27 dogfights were the first confirmed incidents of significant aerial combat between the IAF and PAF since 1971. The Pakistani military captured one IAF pilot; Pakistan returned the pilot to India March 1 as a goodwill gesture. These tensions were sparked by a Feb. 14 Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) attack in Pulwama District, Jammu and Kashmir State, India, which left over 40 Indian security personnel dead. No additional airspace violations have been confirmed since Feb. 28, though cross-border firing across the LoC has continued. As of March 6, bilateral military tensions have reduced considerably.

Despite heightened tensions between the two neighbors - who have fought three wars since the Partition in 1947 - in recent weeks, the possibility of an all-out war remains low. Additional shelling is highly likely to be confined to areas along the LoC in the disputed Kashmir region to prevent greater conflict. Nevertheless, air strikes by either country cannot be entirely ruled out and could result in further airspace closures.

 

Advice

Confirm flights in Pakistan through at least March 9. Confirm international flights to and from India. Do not check out of accommodations until onward travel is confirmed. Monitor local media for any further acts on the part of Pakistan or India that could escalate tensions. Refrain from engaging in potentially sensitive discussions with Indian or Pakistani nationals over the current tensions.

 


March 5: Pakistani airspace closure extended to 1300 March 6. Flights operational at major airports. Expect lingering disruptions. 

The locations affected by this alert are: 

  • India
  • Pakistan

This alert began 05 Mar 2019 15:11 GMT and is scheduled to expire 09 Mar 2019 15:00 GMT.

  • Incident: Airspace closure and heightened tensions
  • Location: Pakistan and India 
  • Start Date: Feb. 27
  • Impact: Flight disruptions

 

Summary

Click image to enlarge Google map.

Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has extended its closure of Pakistani airspace through at least 1300 March 6. However, services at airports serving Karachi (KHI), Islamabad (ISB), Peshawar (PEW), and Quetta (UET) resumed 1800 March 1. Services have also restarted at Lahore (LHE), and Faisalabad (LYP). Both domestic and international services are available at the operational airports. Other airports across the country remain closed as of late March 5. Unconfirmed reports suggest that the remainder of Pakistan's airspace will be opened in a phased manner, with all airspace opening March 6, and full services at all airports being restored by March 8. Significant delays are likely even after services fully resume, as carriers will need to clear large backlogs of passengers and air freight. All airports and airspace in India remain open.

The closure of Pakistani airspace has prompted continued disruptions on international flights to and from India and the wider region; lingering disruptions will likely continue after Pakistani airspace reopens. Also, some airlines that suspended services to India and Pakistan as a result of the airspace closures may keep services suspended as a precautionary measure, exacerbating the lingering disruptions when the airspace fully reopens.

 

Background and Analysis 

Pakistani authorities closed their nation's airspace to civilian flights as a precautionary measure Feb. 27 following intrusions by Indian and Pakistani air forces over the Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed Kashmir region. Pakistan shot down two Indian Air Force (IAF) jets that violated Pakistani airspace; one Pakistani Air Force (PAF) aircraft was also apparently destroyed during aerial combat. The Feb. 27 dogfights were the first confirmed incidents of significant aerial combat between the IAF and PAF since 1971. The Pakistani military captured one IAF pilot; Pakistan returned the pilot to India March 1 as a goodwill gesture. No additional airspace violations have been confirmed since Feb. 28, although cross-border firing across the LoC has continued. As of March 5, bilateral military tensions have reduced considerably. Pakistan has announced that its High Commission to India will return to Delhi for diplomatic consultations. 

Longstanding cross-border tension between the two nuclear-armed states was significantly exacerbated by an attack on a military convoy in Pulwama District, Jammu and Kashmir State, India, Feb. 14 that killed over 40 Indian security personnel. The attack was claimed by the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant group. Indian authorities have accused Pakistan of supporting the group and, in retaliation for the attack, carried out strikes against alleged JeM targets near Balakot, Chakoti, and Muzaffarabad. India last carried out similar, targeted strikes in 2016 following another purported JeM attack in Indian-administered Kashmir. However, such actions remain a rare and notable departure from Delhi's traditional policy of strategic restraint, despite what it views as Pakistan-sponsored, cross-border attacks. Pakistan denied responsibility for the Pulwama blast and pledged cooperation in investigating the incident if India were to provide "actionable intelligence." 

Despite heightened tensions between the two neighbors - who have fought three wars since the Partition in 1947 - in recent weeks, the possibility of an all-out war remains low. Additional shelling is highly likely to be confined to areas along the LoC in the disputed Kashmir region to prevent greater conflict. Nevertheless, air strikes by either country cannot be entirely ruled out and could result in further airspace closures. 

 

Advice

Confirm flights in Pakistan through at least March 9. Confirm international flights to and from India. Do not check out of accommodations until onward travel is confirmed. Monitor local media for any further acts on the part of Pakistan or India that could escalate tensions, as well as for potential nationalist demonstrations; such events are unlikely to be announced in advance. Avoid all demonstrations, and refrain from engaging in potentially sensitive discussions with Indian or Pakistani nationals over the current tensions.
 


March 4: Ethnic group threatens shutdown strike in Manipur, India, March 9-11. Expect business, transport disruptions. Counterprotests are possible. 

This alert affects Imphal, Manipur State.

This alert began 09 Mar 2019 12:30 GMT and is scheduled to expire 11 Mar 2019 00:30 GMT.

  • Event: Shutdown strike
  • Location: Manipur State 
  • Time Frame: 1800 March 9-0600 March 11
  • Impact: Business and transport disruptions; possible protests, roadblocks, and violence

 

Summary

A group representing the ethnic Meitei (Meetei) community has called for a 36-hour bandh (shutdown strike) in Manipur State starting at 1800 March 9. The organization is demanding inclusion of the Meitei group in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category, which will grant community members reservation quotas in government jobs and educational seats. The strike has the potential to prompt significant transport and commercial disruptions in the valley districts of Manipur with large Meitei populations, including Bishnupur, Imphal East, Imphal West, Kakching, and Thoubal. 

Participants could stage protest marches and rallies in conjunction with the strike; such actions are particularly likely near government buildings and may prompt localized traffic disruptions. Activists could also block local, intercity, and interstate road and rail traffic, and engage in arson and vandalism; attacks on vehicles or businesses that defy the strike call are probable. Counterprotests or strikes by ethnic groups opposed to the Meitei community's demand are possible in Manipur and could result in localized transport and commercial disruptions. Violent clashes involving police and/or rival ethnic groups cannot be ruled out.

 

Advice 

Confirm all business appointments and transport reservations during the strike. Avoid all demonstrations as a precaution. Consider limiting exposure to areas where protests may occur, such as government buildings, and popular public squares, and parks. Immediately depart the area if a large or unruly crowd forms nearby. Verify road status before attempting travel; do not try to navigate any roadblocks due to the possibility of attacks by protesters.


March 4: Tribal groups, Dalit activists to hold shutdown strike in India, March 5; rallies through March 7. Transport disruptions likely.

This alert began 04 Mar 2019 15:30 GMT and is scheduled to expire 07 Mar 2019 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Shutdown strike, protests
  • Location: Nationwide
  • Date: March 5-7
  • Impact: Business and transport disruptions

 

Summary

Tribal groups and Dalit activists will proceed with a planned nationwide bandh (shutdown strike), March 5, despite the Supreme Court's Feb. 28 stay on its earlier eviction order against tribal people and forest dwellers after the government rejected their claims under the Forest Rights Act. Participation in the strike will likely vary widely per location; expect business and transport disruptions, particularly in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, West Bengal, Jharkhand, and the Northeast states.

Activists will hold protests in the coming days. In Delhi, activists plan to march from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar, March 5. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also slated to address a large tribal rally in Dhar district in Madhya Pradesh State on the same day, although it is unclear if the rally is related to the strike. Tribal groups plan to hold a demonstration over the same issue in Bhubaneswar in Odisha State, March 7; specific rally sites have not been publicized. Additional, unannounced protests are possible. Rallies are most likely to occur outside government buildings and offices, or at popular gathering spots. Sporadic violence and vandalism cannot be ruled out. Protesters could also block roads, which could further intensify ground transport disruptions.

 

Advice

Confirm all business appointments and transport reservations during the strike as a precaution. Avoid all demonstrations; use caution near government and court buildings and popular rally sites, as organizers may not announce protest plans in advance. Allow considerable extra time for travel. Before attempting ground travel, seek updated information on road conditions from trusted local contacts to ensure routes are free of roadblocks.


March 3: Limited operations resume at Lahore and Faisalabad airports, Pakistan, March 3. Airspace closure still in effect until March 4. 

  • Incident: Airspace closure and heightened tensions
  • Location: Pakistan and India 
  • Start Date: Feb. 27
  • Impact: Flight disruptions

 

Summary

According to a statement from Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), limited domestic and international operations have resumed at airports in Lahore and Faisalabad March 3. Services at Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar, and Quetta airports resumed 1800 March 1. Other airports across the country, including Sialkot and Multan, remain closed as of the afternoon of March 3. Unconfirmed reports suggest that the remainder of Pakistan's airspace will be opened in a phased manner, with all airspace opening March 4, and full services at all airports being restored by March 8. Significant delays are likely, as carriers will need to clear large backlogs of passengers and air freight. All airports and airspace in India remain open.

The closure of Pakistani airspace has prompted disruptions on international flights to and from India and the wider region; disruptions will likely continue as services normalize. In addition, some airlines that suspended services to India and Pakistan as a result of the airspace closures may keep services suspended as a precautionary measure, exacerbating the lingering disruptions when the airspace fully reopens.

 

Background and Analysis 

Pakistani authorities closed their nation's airspace to civilian flights as a precautionary measure Feb. 27 following intrusions by Indian and Pakistani air forces over the Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed Kashmir region. Pakistan claims to have shot down down two Indian Air Force (IAF) jets that violated Pakistani airspace; one Pakistani Air Force (PAF) aircraft was also apparently destroyed during aerial combat. The Feb. 27 dogfights were the first confirmed incidents of significant aerial combat between the IAF and PAF since 1971. The Pakistani military captured one IAF pilot; Pakistan returned the pilot to India March 1 as a goodwill gesture. No additional airspace violations have been confirmed as of March 3, although cross-border firing across the LoC occurred overnight March 1-2, resulting in limited civilian and military casualties on both sides.

Longstanding cross-border tension between the two nuclear-armed states was significantly exacerbated by an attack on a military convoy in Pulwama District, Jammu and Kashmir State, India, Feb. 14 that killed over 40 Indian security personnel. The attack was claimed by the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant group. Indian authorities have accused Pakistan of supporting the group and, in retaliation for the attack, carried out strikes against alleged JeM targets near Balakot, Chakoti, and Muzaffarabad. India last carried out similar, targeted strikes in 2016 following another purported JeM attack in Indian-administered Kashmir. However, such actions remain a rare and notable departure from Delhi's traditional policy of strategic restraint, despite what it views as Pakistan-sponsored, cross-border attacks. Pakistan denied responsibility for the Pulwama blast and pledged cooperation in investigating the incident if India were to provide "actionable intelligence."

Despite tensions escalating between the two neighbors - who have fought three wars since the Partition in 1947 - in recent weeks, the possibility of an all-out war remains low. Additional shelling is likely to be confined to areas along the LoC in the disputed Kashmir region to prevent greater conflict. Air strikes by either country cannot be entirely ruled out and could result in further airspace closures. 

 

Advice

Confirm flights in Pakistan through at least March 8. Confirm international flights to and from India. Do not check out of accommodations until onward travel is confirmed. Monitor local media for any further acts on the part of Pakistan or India that could escalate tensions, as well as for potential nationalist demonstrations; such events are unlikely to be announced in advance. Avoid all demonstrations, and refrain from engaging in potentially sensitive discussions with Indian or Pakistani nationals over the current tensions.


March 1: Pakistan extends airspace closure until 0800 March 4; Karachi, Peshawar Quetta, Islamabad airports resume operations 1800 March 1.

The locations affected by this alert are: 

  • India
  • Pakistan

This alert began 01 Mar 2019 10:01 GMT and is scheduled to expire 04 Mar 2019 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Airspace closure and heightened tensions
  • Location: Pakistan and India
  • Start Date: Feb. 27
  • Impact: Flight disruptions

 

Summary

Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has stated that the nation's airspace will remain closed to commercial international operations until 0800 March 4. However, limited operations at airports in Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar and Quetta will be resume from 1800 March 1. The status of airports in Lahore, Sialkot, Multan, and Faisalabad is unclear. Significant delays are likely, as carriers will need to clear large backlogs of passengers and air freight. All airports and airspace in India remain open. The situation remains fluid.

The closure of Pakistani airspace has prompted disruptions on international flights to and from India Afghanistan and the wider region; disruptions there are likely to continue as services normalize. In addition, some airlines that suspended services to India and Pakistan as a result of the airspace closures may keep services suspended as a precautionary measure, exacerbating the lingering disruptions when the airspace fully reopens.

 

Background and Analysis 

Pakistani authorities closed their nation's airspace to civilian flights as a precautionary measure Feb. 27 following intrusions by Indian and Pakistani air forces over the Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed Kashmir region. Pakistan claims to have shot down down two Indian Air Force (IAF) jets that violated Pakistani airspace; one Pakistani Air Force aircraft was also apparently destroyed during aerial combat. The Pakistani military captured one IAF pilot, who Pakistan has stated it will return to India during March 1 as a goodwill gesture. No additional airspace violations have been confirmed as of March 1. The Feb. 27 dogfights were the first confirmed incidents of significant aerial combat between the IAF and PAF since 1971. 

Cross-border tension between the two nuclear-armed states was significantly exacerbated by an attack on a military convoy in Pulwama District, Jammu and Kashmir State, India, Feb. 14 that killed over 40 Indian security personnel. The attack was claimed by the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant group. Indian authorities have accused Pakistan of supporting the group and, in retaliation for the attack, carried out strikes against alleged JeM targets near Balakot, Chakoti, and Muzaffarabad. India last carried out similar, targeted strikes in 2016 following another purported JeM attack in Indian-administered Kashmir. However, such actions remain a rare and notable departure from Delhi's traditional policy of strategic restraint, despite what it views as Pakistan-sponsored, cross-border attacks. Pakistan denied responsibility for the Pulwama blast and pledged cooperation in investigating the incident if India were to provide "actionable intelligence." 

Although, in recent weeks, tensions have been escalating between the two neighbors - who have fought three wars since the Partition in 1947 - the possibility of an all-out war remains low. Additional shelling is likely to be confined to areas along the LoC in the disputed Kashmir region to prevent greater conflict. Air strikes by either country cannot be entirely ruled out and could result in further airspace closures. Diplomats from concerned global powers, including the US and China, have been communicating with both sides, urging military restraint. 

 

Advice

Confirm flights in Pakistan through at least through March 3. Confirm international flights to and from India. Do not check out of accommodations until onward travel is confirmed. Monitor local media for any further acts on the part of Pakistan or India that could escalate tensions, as well as for potential nationalist demonstrations; such events are unlikely to be announced in advance. Avoid all demonstrations, and refrain from engaging in potentially sensitive discussions with Indian or Pakistani nationals over the current tensions.
 


February 28: Pakistani officials plan to reopen airspace March 1; international flight disruptions continue in India. Expect lingering delays.

The locations affected by this alert are: 

  • India
  • Pakistan

This alert began 28 Feb 2019 18:54 GMT and is scheduled to expire 04 Mar 2019 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Airspace closure and heightened tensions
  • Location: Pakistan and India
  • Start Date: Feb. 27
  • Impact: Flight disruptions

 

Summary

Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) plans to reopen the nation's airspace to commercial flights March 1. As of late Feb. 28, there are conflicting reports as to whether the airspace would reopen at 1300 or 1800. Pakistani authorities allowed several commercial flights to leave Pakistan, Feb. 28; however, the measure was temporary. Significant flight delays are likely after Pakistani airspace reopens, as carriers will need to clear large backlogs of passengers and air freight. 

The closure of Pakistani airspace has prompted disruptions on international flights to and from India. As of late Feb. 28, Air Canada (AC) has maintained its suspension of flights connecting India and Canada. Air Astana (KC) has also canceled flights linking Almaty and Delhi. Additional disruptions are likely on international flights serving India in the coming days. 

 

Background and Analysis 

Pakistani authorities closed their nation's airspace to civilian flights as a precautionary measure Feb. 27 following intrusions by Indian and Pakistani air forces over the Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed Kashmir region. Pakistan claims to have shot down down two Indian Air Force (IAF) jets that violated Pakistani airspace; one Pakistani Air Force aircraft was also apparently destroyed during aerial combat. The Pakistani military has captured one IAF pilot. However, no additional airspace violations have been confirmed as of Feb. 28. The Feb. 27 dogfights were the first confirmed incidents of significant aerial combat between the IAF and PAF since 1971. 

Cross-border tension between the two nuclear-armed states was significantly exacerbated by an attack on a military convoy in Pulwama District, Jammu and Kashmir State, India, Feb. 14 that killed over 40 Indian security personnel. The attack was claimed by the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant group. Indian authorities have accused Pakistan of supporting the group and, in retaliation for the attack, carried out strikes against alleged JeM targets near Balakot, Chakoti, and Muzaffarabad. India last carried out similar, targeted strikes in 2016 following another purported JeM attack in Indian-administered Kashmir. However, such actions remain a rare and notable departure from Delhi's traditional policy of strategic restraint, despite what it views as Pakistan-sponsored, cross-border attacks. Pakistan denied responsibility for the Pulwama blast and pledged cooperation in investigating the incident if India were to provide "actionable intelligence." 

Although, in recent weeks, tensions have been escalating between the two neighbors - who have fought three wars since the Partition in 1947 - the possibility of an all-out war remains low. Additional shelling is likely to be confined to areas along the LoC in the disputed Kashmir region to prevent greater conflict. Air strikes by either country cannot be entirely ruled out and could result in further airspace closures. Pakistani authorities plan to repatriate the captured Indian pilot they hold on March 1; the move may help reduce bilateral tensions. Diplomats from concerned global powers, including the US and China, have been in touch with both sides to urge military restraint. 

 

Advice

Confirm flights in Pakistan through at least through March 3. Confirm international flights to and from India. Do not check out of accommodations until onward travel is confirmed. Monitor local media for any further acts on the part of Pakistan or India that could escalate tensions, as well as for potential nationalist demonstrations; such events are unlikely to be announced in advance. Avoid all demonstrations, and refrain from engaging in potentially sensitive discussions with Indian or Pakistani nationals over the current tensions.
 


February 28: Opposition parties to hold a mass rally in Ranchi, Jharkhand, India, March 2. Expect increased security, transport disruptions.

This alert affects Ranchi, Jharkhand State.

This alert began 28 Feb 2019 18:23 GMT and is scheduled to expire 02 Mar 2019 20:00 GMT.

  • Event: Opposition mass rally
  • Location: Morhabadi Ground, Ranchi
  • Date: March 2
  • Impact: Heightened security; localized transport disruptions; possible security disturbances

 

Summary

Opposition parties, led by the Indian National Congress (INC), plan to hold a mass rally at Morhabadi Ground, Ranchi, March 2. The event is part of the opposition's campaign for the upcoming general election. INC leader Rahul Gandhi will address the crowd, likely boosting participation. Organizers expect thousands of supporters to attend the gathering.

Authorities will increase security at Morhabadi Ground and adjacent areas. Expect extremely tight security around the rally site before, during, and after Rahul Gandhi's address; roadblocks and checkpoints are likely in the area and will probably cause localized transport disruptions. Major security disturbances appear unlikely, though skirmishes between opposition activists and members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party are possible. 

 

Advice

Avoid the rally as a precaution. Prepare for increased security in Ranchi on March 2. Carry valid identification at all times and heed instructions from security personnel. Consider using alternative routes to avoid areas near the rally. Allow additional time to reach destinations.


February 27: Pakistani officials maintain nationwide airspace closure as of early Feb. 28; international flight disruptions occur in India.

The locations affected by this alert are: 

  • India
  • Pakistan

This alert began 27 Feb 2019 21:57 GMT and is scheduled to expire 01 Mar 2019 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Airspace closure and heightened tensions
  • Location: Pakistan and India 
  • Start Date: Feb. 27
  • Impact: Flight disruptions

 

Summary

Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is maintaining its nationwide airspace closure for commercial flights as of early Feb. 28. Air Canada (AC) has suspended flights connecting India and Canada. Additional international flight disruptions may impact services to and from India in the coming days. Flight operations at Srinagar (SXR), Jammu (IXJ), and Leh (IXL) airports in Jammu and Kashmir State, as well as airports in Chandigarh (IXC), Pathankot (IXP), and Amritsar (ATQ) in Punjab State, resumed after being suspended briefly Feb. 27. 

Widespread and severe disruptions to regional flight operations will likely occur as a result of the airspace closure over Pakistan. Authorities have not indicated when they expect affected flights to resume. Lingering disruptions are likely even after normal operations resume in both India and Pakistan as authorities clear the backlog of passengers.

 

Background and Analysis 

Indian and Pakistani authorities took the actions following reports of airspace intrusions by the countries' air forces over the Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed Kashmir region earlier Feb. 27. Pakistani authorities claim they shot down two Indian Air Force (IAF) jets that violated Pakistani airspace; at least one IAF aircraft is confirmed to have been shot down. Indian authorities also stated that three Pakistan Air Force (PAF) jets violated Indian airspace over Jammu and Kashmir State and were subsequently repelled. 

The cross-border tension between the two nuclear-armed states was sparked by an attack on a military convoy in Pulwama District, Jammu and Kashmir State, India, Feb. 14 that killed 40 Indian soldiers. The attack was claimed by the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant group. Indian authorities have accused Pakistan of supporting the group and, in retaliation for the attack, carried out strikes against alleged JeM targets near Balakot, Chakoti, and Muzaffarabad. India last carried out similar targeted strikes in 2016 following another purported JeM attack in Indian-administered Kashmir. However, such actions remain a rare and notable departure from Delhi's traditional policy of strategic restraint, despite what it views as Pakistan-sponsored cross-border attacks. 

Although tensions have been escalating between the two neighbors - who have fought three wars since the Partition in 1947 - the possibility of an all-out war remains low. Additional military action by either country cannot be ruled out and could result in further airspace closures. That said, any incidents are likely to remain localized to areas near the LoC in the disputed Kashmir region to prevent greater conflict. Nationalist groups in both countries may hold protests in the coming days, which could produce localized traffic disruptions.

 

Advice

Confirm flights nationwide across Pakistan, and at previously impacted airports, at least through March 1. Confirm international flights to and from India. Do not check out of accommodations until onward travel is confirmed. Monitor local media for any further acts on the part of Pakistan or India that could escalate tensions, as well as for potential nationalist demonstrations; such events are unlikely to be announced in advance. Avoid all demonstrations and refrain from engaging in discussions with Indian or Pakistani nationals over the current tensions.
 

 


February 27: Malaysia and Singapore issue advisories on travel to Pakistan and India due to ongoing tensions as of Feb. 27.

The locations affected by this alert are: 

  • India
  • Pakistan

This alert began 27 Feb 2019 20:21 GMT and is scheduled to expire 05 Mar 2019 22:00 GMT.

  • Event: Travel advisories
  • Location: Pakistan and India 
  • Start Date: Feb. 27
  • Impact: Increased security; transportation delays

Summary

On Feb. 27, the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) issued an advisory recommending Malaysian nationals avoid nonessential travel to India and Pakistan. Singapore's MFA also recommended its own citizens defer nonessential travel to all of Pakistan and India's Jammu and Kashmir State. Singaporean citizens already in other parts of India are advised to closely monitor developments and heed instructions from authorities. 

The advisories, issued without any specific time frame for avoiding travel to affected areas, were prompted by military clashes between India and Pakistan and the subsequent shutdown of Pakistani airspace to civilian flights.

 

Background and Analysis

A significant increase in bilateral tension between the two nuclear-armed states was sparked by an attack on a military convoy in Pulwama District, Jammu and Kashmir State, India, Feb. 14 that killed 40 Indian soldiers. The Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant group claimed the attack. Indian authorities have accused Pakistan of supporting the group. On Feb. 26, Indian forces carried out airstrikes against Pakistani targets; Pakistan retaliated with airstrikes across the Line of Control (LoC) Feb. 27. At least one Indian military aircraft was shot down during aerial combat, and the Pakistani military captured the pilot. As of early Feb. 28, Pakistani airspace remains closed to civilian flights; significant flight disruptions have also occurred in parts of northwest India. Significant shelling has occurred on both sides of the LoC in Kashmir, prompting evacuations of civilians from affected areas. 

 

Advice

Strictly avoid areas close to the India-Pakistan border and LoC due to the threat of armed clashes. Carry proper identification at all times and follow instructions from security personnel. Confirm regional flights; do not check out of accommodations until onward travel is confirmed. 


February 27: Indian officials increase security in Delhi, Mumbai, and areas near Pakistan, Feb. 27 amid terrorism threat. Localized disruptions possible. 

  • Incident: Terror threat
  • Location: Western India
  • Time Frame: Through at least March 1
  • Impact: Heightened security; possible minor business and transport disruptions

 

Summary

Authorities are boosting security in Delhi, Mumbai, and areas near the Pakistani border amid a purported terrorist threat. Officials are concerned about potential attacks by groups allegedly backed by Pakistani intelligence as tensions increase between India and Pakistan. The warning reportedly noted the potential for militant attacks at military installations. Officials have increased security near military facilities. The heightened threat level is expected to last through at least March 1.

Heightened security is also likely at major railway stations and other transport hubs, religious sites, tourist areas, and near other soft targets in the impacted areas as a precautionary measure. Security measures may prompt localized transport and commercial disruptions near sensitive sites.

 

Background and Analysis

The cross-border tension between the two nuclear-armed states was sparked by an attack on a military convoy in Pulwama District, Jammu and Kashmir State, India, Feb. 14 that killed 40 Indian soldiers. The Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant group claimed the attack. Indian authorities have accused Pakistan of supporting the group. On Feb. 26, Indian forces carried out airstrikes against Pakistani targets; Pakistan retaliated with airstrikes across the Line of Control (LoC), Feb. 27. At least one Indian military aircraft has been shot down, and the pilot was captured by the Pakistani military. 

 

Advice

Carry identification documents and be prepared to show them to security personnel. Allow additional time for security screening at railway stations and possibly other transport hubs, religious venues, and tourist sites. Limit exposure to crowded markets and other locations that could be considered soft targets, especially during peak business hours.
 


February 27: Authorities in Pakistan close airspace over entire country; airspace over northern India reopened after being closed Feb. 27.

The locations affected by this alert are: 
•    India
•    Pakistan
This alert began 27 Feb 2019 11:23 GMT and is scheduled to expire 28 Feb 2019 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Flight disruptions
  • Location: Multiple airports in northern India, and nationwide in Pakistan 
  • Date: Feb. 27
  • Impact: Flight disruptions

 

Summary

Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced Feb. 27 that it had closed its airspace to all international and domestic commercial flights. In India, all flight operations at Srinagar (SXR), Jammu (IXJ), and Leh (IXL) airports in Jammu and Kashmir State, as well as airports in Chandigarh (IXC), Pathankot (IXP), and Amritsar (ATQ) in Punjab State, have resumed after briefly being suspended earlier Feb. 27. 

Widespread and severe disruptions to regional flight operations are likely to occur as a result of the airspace closure over Pakistan. Authorities have not indicated when they expect flight operations to resume. Lingering disruptions are likely even after normal operations resume in both India and Pakistan as authorities clear a backlog in passengers.

 

Background and Analysis 

The actions have been taken by Indian and Pakistani authorities following reports of airspace intrusions by the air forces of the respective countries over the Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed Kashmir region earlier Feb. 27. Pakistani authorities claim they shot down two Indian Air Force (IAF) jets that entered Pakistani airspace; Indian officials have countered that one IAF jets crashed inside Indian territory in Jammu and Kashmir State, and was not shot down. Indian authorities also stated that three Pakistan Air Force (PAF) jets incurred into Indian airspace over Jammu and Kashmir State and were subsequently repelled. 

The cross-border tension between the two nuclear-armed states was sparked by an attack on a military convoy in Pulwama District, Jammu and Kashmir State, India, Feb. 14 that killed 40 Indian soldiers. The attack was claimed by the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant group. Indian authorities have accused Pakistan of supporting the group, and in retaliation for the attack, carried out cross-border strikes against JeM targets near Balakot, Chakoti, and Muzaffarabad, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. India last carried out similar targeted strikes in 2016 following another JeM attack in Indian-administered Kashmir. However, such actions remain rare and mark a departure from Delhi's traditional policy of strategic restraint, despite what it views as Pakistani-sponsored cross-border terrorist acts. 

Although tensions have been escalating between the two neighbors - who have fought three wars since the Partition in 1947 - the possibility of an all-out war remains low. Additional military action by either country cannot be ruled out and could result in further airspace closures. That said, any incidents are likely to remain localized to border areas to prevent greater conflict. Nationalist groups in both countries may also hold protests in the coming days, which could produce localized traffic disruptions.

 

Advice

Confirm flights nationwide across Pakistan, and at previously impacted airports, at least through Feb. 28. Do not check out of accommodation unless onward travel is confirmed. Monitor local media for any further acts on the part of Pakistan or India that could further escalate tensions, as well as for potential nationalist demonstrations; such events are unlikely to be announced in advance. Avoid all demonstrations and refrain from engaging in discussions with Indian or Pakistani nationals over the current tensions.


 

February 26: India reportedly strikes JeM militant targets in Pakistan, Feb. 26. Protests possible. Tensions unlikely to impact business operations.

The locations affected by this alert are: 

  • India
  • Pakistan

This alert began 26 Feb 2019 04:55 GMT and is scheduled to expire 28 Feb 2019 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Cross-border military strike
  • Location: Balakot, Chakoti, and Muzaffarabad, Pakistan 
  • Time/Date: Around 0330 Feb. 26
  • Impact: Possible cross-border violence, protests

 

Summary

The Indian Air Force has confirmed that it carried out "surgical strikes" against militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Pakistan early Feb. 26. Authorities claim that 12 aircraft dropped 1,000-kg (2,204-pound) bombs on JeM targets beginning around 0330. Officials say it targeted militant targets in Balakot, Chakoti, and Muzaffarabad. Initial Indian assessments indicate that the camps were destroyed; media reports indicated as many as 300 people might have been killed in the bombings, but these figures remain unconfirmed. 

Pakistani military leaders claim that the Pakistan Air Force scrambled jets to counter the Indian incursion across the LOC and say that a bomb fell in the open and did not cause any casualties. The Pakistani response to the strikes is unclear; officials said as recently as Feb. 25, military officials said that they would respond to any Indian aggression. Indian Army officials have increased security along the border near the LoC and air defenses after the bombing campaign. 

 

Background and Analysis

The cross-border action comes amid heightened tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbors in the wake of the JeM-claimed attack on a military convoy in Pulwama District, Jammu and Kashmir State, India, Feb. 14 that killed 40 Indian soldiers. Indian authorities have accused Pakistan of supporting the group. India last carried out similar targeted strikes in 2016 following another JeM attack in Jammu and Kashmir. However, such actions remain rare and mark a departure from New Delhi's traditional policy of strategic restraint despite what it views as Pakistani-sponsored cross-border terrorist acts. 

Though tensions have been escalating between the two neighbors - who have fought three wars since the Partition in 1947 - the possibility of an all-out war remains low. Additional military action by either country cannot be ruled out; however, any such incidents are likely to remain localized to border areas to prevent greater conflict. The cross-border action is unlikely to have any impact on business operations in India and Pakistan, though cross-border trade may be affected in the near term. Nationalist groups in both countries may also hold protests in the coming days, which could produce localized traffic disruptions.

 

Advice

Monitor local media for potential nationalist demonstrations, as events are unlikely to be announced in advance. Avoid all demonstrations. 
 

 


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