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Published On: Wed, Sep 18th, 2019

Pakistan turns down New Delhi’s request to open airspace for PM Modi’s US visit

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maxresdefaultNEW DELHI Amid heightened tensions with India over the Kashmir issue, Pakistan has refused New Delhi’s request to allow Prime Minister Narendra Modi to use its airspace for his flight to the United States via Germany.
“Keeping in view the situation in Kashmir and India’s attitude witnessed in the tyranny and oppression and the violations of rights in the region, we have decided not to grant this request,” Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was quoted as saying by Dawn. 10_img118919184332
“India had formally requested Pakistan to allow the use of its air space for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flight to New York, US. Pakistan to respond after consultations: Pakistan media,” news agency ANI reported on Wednesday.
This comes on the back of reports that Pakistan had denied permission for an aircraft with Indian President Ram Nath Kovind on board to use its airspace while on an official visit to Europe last week.
Pakistan had closed its airspace to India after the air strikes on the Jaish-e Mohammad terror camp at Balakot on February 26. But it opted for a partial opening again in July. country’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI on Wednesday. PM Modi is travelling to the US on September 21 to attend the United Nations General Assembly and other engagements in New York and Houston.
Indian carriers usually use Pakistani air space on all their west bound flights, but this time special permission has been sought since Pakistan closed its air space amid tensions after India revoked Article 370 of its Constitution.
The Days later, its aviation minister said his country suffered loses of over eight billion rupees ($50 million) from the airspace restrictions, reported news agency Reuters.
Reacting to the Pakistan government’s decision, the Ministry of External Affairs(MEA) said, “We regret the decision of the Government of Pakistan to deny overflight clearance for the VVIP special flight for a second time in two weeks, which is otherwise granted routinely by any normal country.”
The MEA 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.

Earlier this month, Islamabad did not allow President Ram Nath Kovind to use its airspace during his visit to Iceland. Mr Qureshi attributed Islamabad’s decision to India’s “recent behaviour” – a reference to the government’s move to end the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate the state into two Union Territories.
The foreign ministry said it regretted Pakistan’s decision to deny overflight clearance for the VVIP special flight, “which is otherwise granted routinely by any normal country”.
(With Agency Inputs ).







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