Violent demonstrations and growing tensions between India and Pakistan have lead the Canadian government to issue travel advisories for residents planning to travel to these two countries.
The advisory warns travellers to “remain extremely vigilant at all times” in India —especially in the areas of Jammu, Kashmir, and northern India— and to avoid “all unnecessary travel” to Pakistan.
#India: due to ongoing tensions with #Pakistan, operations at several airports have been interrupted. If you are in India, contact your airline before travelling to confirm your flight. https://t.co/iufIb6XeKA
— travel.gc.ca (@TravelGoC) February 27, 2019
Tension between the two countries has been high following a suicide bombing on February 14th, which hit a convoy of Indian paramilitary vehicles near the town of Srinagar that resulted in many casualties. In the following days, violent demonstrations have taken place by “left-wing extremists” in cities within Jammu and Kashmir.
The conflict escalated further when Indian forces launched an airstrike on Tuesday on what they say was a militant training base, prompting Pakistani forces to shoot down two Indian warplanes and locking down their airspace on Wednesday.
“There are sporadic violent clashes between militants and Indian security forces,” reads the travel advisory. “Civilians have been killed or injured during such attacks. You could find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
After Pakistan closed their airspace and the Canadian government issued its travel advisory, Air Canada temporarily suspended all of their flights to India.
Travel Alert – February 28: Mumbai (BOM) & New Delhi (DEL). Details, Flight Status & rebook online. Change fees waived: https://t.co/fuCj1d9VMn
— Air Canada (@AirCanada) February 27, 2019
“The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad,” says the government.
“We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.”
A full list of Canada’s travel advisories can be found online here.