ISLAMABAD: Pakistan, on Wednesday, turned down a request by India to allow Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to use its airspace for his flight for Germany, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi announced in a video message.
Earlier today, India had made a formal request to Pakistan to grant permission of using its airspace on September 20 and 28 as the Indian Prime Minister is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York.
Modi’s flight would pass over Pakistani airspace on September 20 on his way to the US where he will attend the United Nations General Assembly and address a gathering of Indian-Americans in Houston.
FM Qureshi said the request was denied with keeping the current situation of occupied Kashmir in mind which has been stripped of its special status by India on August 5 and since has been placed under strict clampdown.
“Keeping in view the situation in occupied Kashmir and India’s attitude witnessed in the tyranny and oppression [suffered by Kashmiris] and the violations of rights in the region, we have decided not to grant this request,” he said.
The Indian High Commission has been informed of the decision, added FM Qureshi.
On September 8, Pakistan had refused a request by India to allow Indian President Ram Nath Kovind to fly through its airspace towards Iceland due to New Delhi’s recent “behaviour.”
“The decision has been taken in view of India’s behaviour,” Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had said in a statement.
Earlier in February, Pakistan closed its airspace to Indian traffic when Indian Air Force (IAF) had violated its airspace along the LoC, ratcheting up tensions between nuclear-armed Islamabad and New Delhi. It reopened its skies for all civilian traffic in July, ending months of restrictions affecting major international routes.