Islamabad: Since Narendra Modi's coming to power, the Indian establishment has adopted a more aggressive stance, a Pakistani daily said Tuesday and expressed concern for bilateral ties in view of the row over the Pakistan International Airlines office in New Delhi.
The Indian authorities have asked the Pakistan national flag carrier to "dispose off" its properties in New Delhi, saying they were 'unauthorised' purchases.
Stating that the people-to-people contact becomes the first casualty whenever bilateral ties turn sour, the Dawn in an editorial said it was difficult to comprehend why the issue had been raised nearly a decade after the properties were purchased.
"Assuming that the Indian government is right on a point of technicality, we must nonetheless accept that when it comes to India-Pakistan relations, there are more than just legal or administrative details involved -- there is always a deeper context, one that is completely political," it wrote.
The daily called the issue "a matter of concern for all those who desire friendship and harmony between the two neighbours".
PIA flights to India are now the only direct air links between the two neighbouring countries.
"Should this vital link be broken, travellers from either country wishing to visit the other by air will have to take a cumbersome, expensive detour via a third country," the daily wrote.
Be it the reopening of Pakistan's consulate in Mumbai, suspension of Indian carriers' flights to Pakistan or even the closure of the Indian consulate in Karachi, the daily said "it is politics on both sides that mostly guides such decisions".
Relations between the states have been frosty ever since the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.
Expressing hope that the PIA issue will be resolved at the earliest, the daily wrote "the people of South Asia deserve a better future based on friendship; for that to happen, the communication lines must be kept open".