Tensions between India and Pakistan started escalating on 27 February. International SOS has a team on the ground in Islamabad (Pakistan) to assist and support clients following the escalation.
The Incident Management Team consists of a security manager and supported by in-country personnel. They are assessing the security risks in real time and supporting on-going requests from clients for assistance.
International SOS also established a remote Crisis Management Team, based out of the Singapore, India and Dubai Assistance Centres. They manage on-the-ground information and coordinate support to clients concerned for their employees.
Tensions between the India and Pakistan escalated following cross-border airstrikes along the Line of Control in the disputed territory of Kashmir. On 26 February, Indian Air Force conducted airstrikes within Pakistan, targeting training camps belonging to the Jaish-e-Mohammed extremist group. In response, on 27 February the Pakistani Air Force entered Indian airspace in the Kashmir valley. This caused an air-to-air engagement, resulting in a downed aircraft each from both sides.
The resultant increase in tensions led to the closure of airspace in northern India, affecting nine airports, for approximately five hours. Normal service has currently been resumed. Pakistani airspace was closed across the country around the same time. It remains closed with the exception of Islamabad, Karachi, Quetta, Lahore, Peshawar and Faisalabad airports.
While immediate tensions have begun to de-escalate, aided by the return on 2 March of captured Indian pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, International SOS remains ready to assist and support clients in the region and provide updated information on the situation.
Key Advice for Travel to Pakistan
- Travel to Pakistan can continue even as limited flights are operating. However, those due to fly to and from the country in the coming days should expect disruption until flight operations normalise.
- Defer all travel to the Line of Control and non-essential travel to border areas.
For the latest information and advice, International SOS members are advised to contact their Assistance Centre. They should register for email alerts and review the updates on Travel Security Online and through the International SOS Portal.
We also advise clients and members to download the International SOS Assistance App, here.
Notes to Editors
About International SOS and Control Risks
Our alliance brings together two of the world’s leading medical and security specialists, International SOS and Control Risks. Our combined resources and expertise are well placed to meet the customers’ growing need for integrated travel security risk services. Our solutions ensure that mobile employees are safe and productive and help employers with their duty of care obligations. 50 dedicated experts, located across the globe with access to over 200 dedicated travel security experts through 26 regional Assistance Centres and a partner network of over 700 accredited providers, produce global travel security information and analysis 24/7. We also provide travel security training, preventative travel assessment, support with the development of travel security risk policies, evacuation plans and the latest technology to enable clients to track and communicate with their mobile employees.