Modi refuses to use Pakistani airspace
DEHLI: Demonstrating a sheer mulish behavior, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi refused the overflight of his aircraft from Pakistani airspace, despite receiving the permission from Islamabad.
The Hindu reported that India had forwarded the request to Pakistani officials to let Modi’s overflight to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan during June 13-14 to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit.
Islamabad had approved in principle the Indian government’s request in this regard. Nevertheless, Modi opted to fly via Oman-Iran route instead of Pakistani airspace.
In May, Pakistan granted the request of India to let its Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj overflight to attend the SCO summit in Bishkek.
Pakistan Foreign Ministry Spokesman Mohammad Faisal said that the Indian government had made the request to avoid longer route.
Sushma Swaraj had attended the SCO meeting of foreign ministers in Krgyzstan on May 21 and 22, along with Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
The Pakistani airspace is closed for all commercial flights on its eastern border.
Pakistan took the decision to shut its airspace on February 27, sending India a strong message and forcing carriers to reroute flights, after an aerial dogfight between Pakistan and Indian air forces.