Indian ambassador to Iraq has informed on Thursday that Air India has resumed its flights to Iraq after some 30 years of a gap when an aeroplane carrying Shiite pilgrims had landed in the Iraqi city of Najaf.
According to NDTV news reports, Indian envoy to Iraq Pradeep Singh Rajpurohit said that “this is the first time in the last 30 years” that an aeroplane from India has landed in Iraq at the international airport of the Shiite holy city in Iraq.
While noting that several attempts to restore direct air contacts have been ongoing from sometimes, the envoy said, “We are very fortunate that the holy city of Najaf has been chosen as the first destination.”
Indian flights landing in Iraq has been prevented by many years of conflicts in Iraq and over sanctions against former President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein’s regimen, after his invasion to Kuwait, as well as by increasing chaos that has come in a wake of the former leader’s 2003 downfall.
Air India has started its journey from the Indian city of Lucknow and upon landing the pilgrims and crew were greatly welcomed by Iraqi officials.
Shiite pilgrims used to visit Najaf from around the world to visit the tomb of Imam Ali, founder of Shiite Islam and Prophet Mohammed’s son-in-law.