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Flights ban angers Nepal

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    Flights ban angers Nepal

    The following appeared in the Financial Times of London:

    Government officials and the tourism industry in Nepal yesterday criticised India's decision to suspend all its flights in and out of Kathmandu following the hijacking of the Indian Airlines flight from the Nepali capital.

    Pradeep Raj Pandey, chief executive officer of the Nepal Tourism Board, an industry organisation, said that the total ban was "overkill". The board is lobbying Indian officials and the state-owned airline for a swift end to the ban so as not to disrupt an expected millennium rush of travellers from India. "We hope reason will prevail," he said.

    Nepali officials have set up a committee to investigate the security lapses at Tribhuvan International Airport that allowed men armed with knives, pistols and grenades to board the Delhi-bound flight last Friday.

    Jaswant Singh, India's external affairs minister, said on Sunday that Nepali authorities had suggested that the hijackers might have landed in Nepal on a Pakistan International Airlines flight earlier in the day, then slipped from the arrival hall straight into the departure lounge.

    However, Ram Sharan Mahat, Nepal's foreign minister, said the government had ruled that out. "There is no basis for that theory," he said. Most of the airport staff on duty on Friday - particularly those working in departures - have been suspended during the inquiry, due to be completed in two weeks

    "Our airport is as good as any other international airport in the region," Mr Mahat said. "Even in the best airports such incidents take place. We cannot say there has been any security lapse based on the findings so far."

    Nepal was put on the tourist map by backpackers but today it offers everything from casinos to facilities for corporate conferences, and tourism accounts for 2 per cent of gross domestic product. Indian visitors make up about a third of the half a million foreign tourists each year. Indian Airlines normally schedules 15 flights a week into Kathmandu.

    if 4 guys can be given boarding passes in one name, i think nepal security deserves the treatment it is given.

    and this is not first time. govt. of india has brought in notice ISI activities time and again with Nepal. Now not only India, every country is shouting now,and they pretend to wake up. hey.


      I think the issuance of 4 boarding passes has nothing to do with the Nepalese. The boarding passes are normally issued by the concerned airline staff in this case Indian Airlines. The blame should therfore lie with the airline and not the Nepalese.