MFA advises all Singaporeans to defer non-essential travel to Jammu & Kashmir and Pakistan

A man looks at a television screen displaying the pictures of the Indian pilots, said to be captured by Pakistan after shooting down two Indian planes, in Karachi, Pakistan Feb 27.
Reuters

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has advised Singaporeans to defer all non-essential travel to Jammu and Kashmir in India, and to Pakistan.

This comes after the Pulwama attack on Feb 14, which has led to escalating tensions between India and Pakistan.

On Wednesday (Feb 27), Pakistan carried out air strikes and shot down two Indian jets, a day after Indian warplanes struck inside Pakistan for the first time since a war in 1971.

According to a BBC report, India has demanded the release of the fighter pilot shot down by Pakistan warplanes. Many netizens in India are calling him a “hero”, while others are urging both countries to exercise restraint, BBC reported.

In a statement on Wednesday, Singapore’s foreign ministry also urged the public to exercise precaution in other areas, especially the border regions between Pakistan and India.

It said: “Several cities, including New Delhi and Mumbai, and the border districts of Kutch, Banaskantha, and Patan in Gujarat have been placed on high alert.”

MFA also noted reports of airport closures and flight cancellations in various Indian states – including Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttarakhand.

There have also been reports of flight cancellations across Pakistan, and the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority has closed its airspace to all commercial flights, the ministry said.

On Feb 28, the Straits Times (ST) reported that Singapore Airlines (SIA) re-routed three flights to Europe to avoid Pakistan airspace. Two flights to London and one to Frankfurt had to stop halfway for refuelling after being re-routed.

“All other flights that overfly the affected airspace will be re-routed, but are due to operate as scheduled at this point,” the airline’s spokesman was quoted as saying.

According to ST, all Singapore-Europe flights – including those operated by other carriers such as Australia’s Qantas – are affected.

MFA advised Singaporeans who are already in India and Pakistan to “take all necessary precautions to ensure their personal safety”.

“They are advised to stay vigilant, monitor developments through the local news, and heed the instructions of the local authorities.

“Do stay in touch with your family and friends in Singapore so that they know you are safe,” MFA said.

Singaporeans already in these countries are also encouraged to eRegister with MFA at https://eregister.mfa.gov.sg.

Those who require consular assistance can contact:

  • Singapore High Commission in New Delhi can be reached at +91-11-4600-0800 and +91-98102-03595, or via e-mail at singhc_del@mfa.sg.
  • Singapore Honorary Consulate-General in Karachi can be contacted on +92-21-3568-6419 and +92-21-3568-5308, or via e-mail at singaporecg@cyber.net.pk.
  • MFA’s 24-hour duty office can be contacted on +65-6379-8800 and +65-6379-8855.

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