ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal on Thursday said that Pakistan could exercise the closure of its airspace for India at a time of its choosing, but so far, no decision has been taken on the matter.
While addressing a weekly press briefing, Dr Faisal said that the issue had been discussed at the highest level.
“It is one of the many options that are being considered, we can exercise it at a time of our choosing. No decision has been taken as yet,” he said.
The FO spokesperson’s comments come a day after Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi shared the same regarding closure of Pakistan’s airspace.
Talking to reporters, Qureshi had dismissed reports suggesting that the airspace was being shut for India as “speculative”.
“A decision to this effect will be taken after due consideration and looking into each and every aspect of the move through consultation,” he had said, adding Prime Minister Imran Khan would have the final word.
The subject of airspace closure was first broached by Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry, who announced on Tuesday that the federal cabinet was considering restoration of a complete ban on the use of Pakistani airspace for Indian flights.
Following an escalation in tensions between the neighbouring countries earlier this year, Pakistan had fully closed its airspace after the violation of its international boundary and airspace by Indian fighter jets on February 26.
In March, it partially opened its airspace but kept it banned for the Indian flights.
After months of restrictions in the wake of the standoff with India, Pakistan’s airspace was reopened in July.
At the outset of his briefing, Dr Faisal said that Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir remained under siege and was cut off from the rest of the world for the 25th consecutive day.
“These inhuman and unilateral actions by India are continuing without any respite despite international condemnation and censure,” he said.
On August 5, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi stripped Kashmiris of the constitutional rights they had for seven decades through a rushed presidential order. An indefinite curfew was imposed in occupied Kashmir and elected leaders were put under house arrest.
In response to a question regarding Pakistan’s decision to take the Kashmir dispute with India to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the FO spokesperson said that consultations were underway with all stakeholders, adding that it was a “very delicate issue”.
He said that no final decision had been taken as yet.
Dr Faisal said that a technical meeting on the Kartarpur corridor is set to take place at Zero Point on Friday.
“India concurred to Pakistan’s proposal and the technical meeting on Kartarpur Sahib corridor is being held on August 30 at Zero Point.”
“Pakistan remains committed to completing and inaugurating the Kartarpur Sahib corridor as announced by our prime minister,” he added.