First IA flight to Pak in two years lands in Islamabad
Indian Airlines flight IC 003 arrived in Islamabad with External Affairs ministry spokesperson on board.india Updated: Jan 03, 2004 12:24 IST
It was a one-hour-20-minute flight with only media persons and External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Navtej Sarna aboard.
Captain R Mohan at the controls of the A-320, apologised for taking off almost 40 minutes late due to foggy conditions in Delhi.
The service on board was exemplary with a choice of "makhni chicken" or "chicken supreme" for non-vegetarians and "paneer curry" or "spinach cannelloni" for the vegetarians. Alcohol was also served on board, which resulted in some wise cracks about tanking up before entering the "dry zone".
In the hotel rooms, a very suggestive advertising pitch by Nescafe says, "ever tried it on the rocks" (coffee) and another says, "take a trip on the wild side" (cold coffee).
Prohibition is in force in Pakistan but if anybody brought in some hip-flasks, they are lucky because there was no security check at immigration.
At the Rawal lounge at the Islamabad airport, one could see banners with SAARC slogans, which sounded almost bombastic.
Clearly, Pakistan is leaving no stone unturned to convince all delegates that it is giving tremendous importance to SAARC.
Security is all-pervasive, from roads to the hotels to the convention centre. Mounted police, police on rooftops, in cars....just about everywhere without being intrusive.