Pakistan denies permission to Narendra Modi to fly over its airspace for his upcoming US visit

  • Pakistan on Wednesday said it has rejected India's request to allow Prime Minister Narendra Modi's VVIP flight to use its airspace for his upcoming visit to the US

  • Announcing the decision via a video statement, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad had been informed of Pakistan's decision

  • The prime minister is travelling to the US on 21 September to attend the 'Howdy Modi' diaspora event on 22 September and address the UN General Assembly on September 27.

Islamabad: Pakistan on Wednesday said it has rejected India's request to allow Prime Minister Narendra Modi's VVIP flight to use its airspace for his upcoming visit to the United States (US) via Germany.

"India had requested Pakistan to allow Modi to use its airspace to travel to Germany on the 21 September and return on 28 September," Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said.

Announcing the decision via a video statement, Qureshi said the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad had been informed of Pakistan's decision to not allow the prime minister's special Air India One aircraft to fly over the country, Geo News reported.

"In the light of the current situation in Kashmir, India's attitude and atrocities there, we have decided to not allow our airspace for the flight of the Indian prime minister," he said.

The prime minister is travelling to the US on 21 September to attend the 'Howdy Modi' diaspora event on 22 September and address the UN General Assembly on September 27.

On 7  September, Pakistan refused India's request to allow President Ram Nath Kovind to use its airspace for his flight to Iceland.

The Imran Khan-led government has been under pressure from the Opposition and some ministers to impose ban on India to use its airspace after India revoked special status of Kashmir on 5 August.

Tensions between India and Pakistan spiked after India abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir's special status and bifurcated it into two union territories, evoking strong reaction from Pakistan.

India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 was an internal matter and also advised Pakistan to accept the reality.

In June, Pakistan "specially" opened its airspace for Modi's flight to Bishkek to attend the Shanghai co-operation (SCO) summit. However, India decided not to use the Pakistani airspace for the VVIP aircraft.

Pakistan fully closed its airspace in February after an Indian Air Force strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camp in Balakot. The country opened its airspace for all flights except for New Delhi, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur on 27 March.

On 15 May, Pakistan extended its airspace ban for flights to India till 30 May. It fully opened its airspace for all civilian traffic on 16 July.

 

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Updated Date: Sep 18, 2019 21:19:24 IST