After pigeons, India takes PIA balloon into custody in occupied Kashmir

Mar 12, 2021 | Kashmir Coverage (General News)

In a bizarre turn of events, authorities in Indian-occupied Kashmir have seized a plane-shaped balloon bearing the name of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Indian news agency ANI reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, the balloon featuring the name, logo and livery colours of the national flag-carrier was found in Sotra Chak village of Hiranagar sector on Tuesday evening.

The report said that it was initially spotted by locals in the village who informed the police. Authorities have seized the balloon, while the matter is under police investigation.

It wasn’t immediately known where the balloon came from.

With ties between Pakistan and India at a particularly low point, objects and animals crossing over the border have been seized by Indian authorities in recent years, who view them with suspicion.

In 2015, a pigeon was captured by Indian forces for crossing the Indo-Pak border into India’s Pathankot area.

Last year in May, Indian Border Security Forces (BSF) claimed to have captured another “Pakistani spy pigeon” and handed it over to police in occupied Kashmir. A Pakistani villager later said he was the owner of the pigeon and refuted the allegation of it being “a spy or a terrorist”.

Published in Dawn