Malaysian Premier Najib Razak called Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday evening and sought India’s technical help in corroborating possible paths that the missing Malaysia Airlines jet MH370 could have taken.
Official sources said the PM assured Razak of “all possible help” in the search operation. He also expressed his concern and anxiety about the well-being of the passengers on board.
Despite Singh’s assurances, there are still no signs of India’s military radars in the area having picked up the missing flight.
Officials also added that India’s military radars are operated on an ‘as and when required’ principle, in stark contrast to the practice in European or American airspace.
In addition to Singh, Razak also spoke to his counterparts in Bangladesh, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. The Beijing-bound plane — with 239 people on board including five Indians — vanished from radars an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur on March 8 over the South China Sea.
Razak’s call comes a day after he said investigators suspected the plane’s communication systems were “ deliberately disabled ”. The transponder was switched off before the jet veered off-course and flew for more than seven hours.
Meanwhile, India put its search operations — involving five warships and six surveillance aircraft — on hold pending fresh instructions from Malaysian authorities who are likely to look into new areas to locate the plane. India was carrying out searches in the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal.
Razak said authorities are trying to trace the plane along two corridors — in the north to the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan and a southern corridor from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.
(With agency inputs)
Full coverage: Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370