Pakistan Denies Use Of Airspace To PM Modi Again

Prime Minister Narendra Modi won't be allowed in Pakistan airspace for his upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia, Radio Pakistan reported quoting Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

Pakistan Denies Use Of Airspace To PM Modi Again

Pakistan had denied PM Modi use of its airspace during his visit to the US earlier. (File)

New Delhi:

Pakistan on Sunday said it has denied India's request to allow Prime Minister Narendra Modi's flight to use its airspace for his upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia, alleging the violation of human rights in Jammu and Kashmir.

In a statement, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Pakistan has decided not to allow Prime Minister Modi to use the country's airspace, state-run Radio Pakistan reported.

Mr Qureshi said the Indian High Commissioner is being informed of this decision in writing.

Responding to the decision, Indian government sources said, "We regret the decision of the Government of Pakistan to yet again deny overflight clearance for the VVIP special flight, which is otherwise granted routinely by any normal country."

"Overflight clearances are sought, and granted by other countries as per prescribed ICAO guidelines and India will continue to seek such overflight clearances. Separately, we have taken up the matter of such denial with the relevant international civil aviation body," sources said.

"Pakistan should reflect upon its decision to deviate from well established international practice, as well as reconsider its old habit of misrepresenting the reasons for taking unilateral action," they added.

PM Modi will travel to Saudi Arabia on Monday where he will attend an international business forum and hold talks with top Saudi leadership.

In September, Pakistan rejected India's request to allow Prime Minister Modi's flight to use its airspace for his visit to the US to attend the UN General Assembly.

Pakistan also refused India's request to allow President Ram Nath Kovind to use its airspace for his flight to Iceland in the same month.

Pakistan 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 March 27.

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

In June, Pakistan "specially" opened its airspace for the flight of Prime Minister Modi to Bishkek to attend the SCO summit. However, India decided not to use the Pakistani airspace for the aircraft.

Tensions between India and Pakistan spiked after India scrapped Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370 of the constitution and divided it into two union territories, evoking strong reaction from Pakistan.

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

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