x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Talks aimed at resuming UK flights

Pakistan is talking with British Airways about resuming flights from London to Islamabad, said the country's foreign minister.

DUBAI // Pakistan is talking with British Airways about resuming flights from London to Islamabad, the country's foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, said in Dubai this weekend. The airline cancelled the flights after a bomb exploded at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad on Sept 20, killing more than 50 people. "Unfortunately, the Marriott incident did create a bit of a stir and people were a bit nervous and they cancelled the flights," Mr Qureshi said in an interview.

"But we are talking with them and hopefully they will overcome the problem and they will start again. "Britain is a very important partner of Pakistan. They are large investors in Pakistan. They have tripled economic assistance in Pakistan." Pakistan International Airlines is now the only airline with direct flights to Islamabad from London. Mr Qureshi encouraged Pakistanis who live in the UAE to visit and invest in their homeland, and said they should feel safe in their country.

"I encourage them and urge them to visit more often." There are about 850,000 Pakistanis in the UAE, making it the second-largest community after Indians. asafdar@thenational.ae