Malaysian PM speaks to his Pakistani counterpart on missing plane

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-3-19 8:42:24

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Tuesday called his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the phone and sought his help in tracing Malaysian airline's missing passenger plane, a senior official said.

"Prime Minister Sharif expressed sympathies with him and assured every possible cooperation," Shujat Azeem, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Aviation, told Dawn newspaper website.

"As per request from Malaysian aviation authorities, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of Pakistan has saved entire data of the day and time when the jet went missing and would be sharing it with Malaysian authorities," he said.

"Although there is no evidence that plane headed towards Pakistan but as a goodwill gesture we are sharing our data with Malaysian government," Shujaat Azeem added. Azeem earlier on Saturday had dismissed Western media reports that missing Malaysian airliner might be hidden somewhere in the country.

Pakistan's top aviation official said the CAA has asked Malaysian authorities to send their official to Karachi to look at the data.

Azeem disclosed that Malaysian aviation authorities also spoke with Pakistan Air Force (PAF) chief Tahir Rafique Butt and sought cooperation in tracing the missing jet.

The special assistant said Malaysian authorities have contacted some 25 countries for their help and cooperation and Pakistan is among such countries.

"India comes before Pakistan, so how it is possible that the plane could have headed towards Pakistan without being tracked by Indian radars," Azeem questioned and added, "what they are looking for is any minor flying object on our radars at that time."

Malaysia has asked many countries, including Pakistan, for help to trace the missing plane.

Meanwhile Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Pervaiz Rashid said that Pakistan's airspace was safe and secure, and that the air traffic control system had picked up no unusual activity with respect to flight MH-370.

Talking to media persons in Islamabad, Rashid said that all data of Pakistan's air traffic control system was available and that nothing was being hidden.

Commenting about the flight, the minister said that there were very few places in Pakistan where a plane the size of the missing Malaysian airliner could land; these include Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore airports.

The search for the missing jetliner entered its 11th day on Tuesday after Malaysia revealed that the last words heard from the cockpit came from the co-pilot, Fariq Abdul Hamid, but could not say whether he signed off before or after a communications system was disabled.

MH370 flight lost contact with the ground on March 8. As of Monday, a total of 26 countries have been involved in the search and rescue operations.

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Posted in: Asia-Pacific

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