An Indian Air Force aircraft travelling to Turkey with relied and medical supplies was denied airspace by Pakistan, early on Tuesday morning.
This is the second time Pakistan has attempted to prevent India from sending humanitarian aid to a nation in need.
On Monday morning, Turkey and Syria were jolted by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, evidently one of the most devastating earthquakes in western Asia’s history. This was followed by two more earthquakes of 7.6 and 6.0, and two more this morning, of 5.6 and 5.7 magnitudes.
The death toll in Turkey and Syria has reached 5021 people as of 2 pm on Tuesday, leaving tens of thousands injured or trapped under the rubble of dilapidated buildings.
With modern drilling equipment, medics, and rescue dogs, the Indian National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have already reached Adana airport, after Pakistan detoured them, refusing to grant them permission to cross over via its airspace. Since the aeroplane had to make a diversion after taking off from the Hindon air base in Uttar Pradesh today, Pakistan’s refusal could draw condemnation.
A field hospital has also been mobilised by the Indian Army to provide medical aid to those suffering in the region.
In December 2021, Pakistan had denied India access to its territory when it wanted to send 50,000 metric tons of wheat to Afghanistan as part of its humanitarian assistance to the war-torn country, after the Taliban took control. In addition to medical drugs, the shipment contained life-saving equipment.
The Pakistani government had suggested that Pakistani trucks transport goods from India to Afghanistan from the Wagah border crossing. Following that, it allowed the trucks to pass through citing an “exceptional basis for humanitarian purposes”.
According to reports from Turkey and Syria, in some of the impacted areas, survivors who were left shell-shocked have teamed up with the rescue workers to assist in pulling other casualties from the wreckage.
Both the White Helmets in Syria and the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) in Turkey are having difficulty rescuing civilians trapped beneath the rubble in Syria’s Azaz and Salqin.