ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday turned down India’s request to allow Prime Minister Narendra Modi to use its airspace for his visit to Germany.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that the decision was made in light of the situation in Kashmir.
“A request was received from India that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wishes to go to Germany and seeks to use the airspace for an over flight on the 20th and wishes to use the same for a return flight on the 28th,” said Qureshi in a video statement which was uploaded on Twitter.
“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 government had submitted a formal request for the use of Pakistani airspace for the use of the Indian prime minister’s flight which the Pakistan government rejected after holding a high-level advisory meeting.
The Indian request was in line with diplomatic norms which prohibit denial of airspace to foreign heads of state travelling on state visits. As per international law, India has the right to appeal to the International Civil Aviation Organisation which would require Pakistan to pay a hefty fine
Sources revealed that the Indian prime minister’s flight would pass over Pakistan’s airspace on Sept 20 for his visit to the United States where he would be attending the United Nations, General Assembly.
Relations between Pakistan and India nosedived after the latter’s decision to revoke the special autonomous status of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). A curfew and a communications blackout have been in place in IOK since Aug 5.
In September, Pakistan refused access to its airspace to Indian President Ram Nath Kovind for his visit to Iceland.