ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has turned down India’s request to allow Indian 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.
In a video statement, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said, “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 overflight on the 20th and wishes to use the same for a return flight on the 28th.”
He further said, “Keeping in view the situation in occupied Kashmir and India’s attitude witnessed in the cruel and oppression and the violations of rights in the region, we have decided not to grant this request.”
This came after the request of the Indian government submitted formally for the use of Pakistani airspace for Prime minister Modi’s flight which the Pakistan government rejected after holding a high-level advisory meeting.
The Indian request was in line with diplomatic norms that 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.
Previously, Pakistan had refused a request made by New Dehli earlier, to use its airspace for the plane of Indian President Ram Nath Kovind, owing to New Dehli’s consistent human rights violation in occupied Kashmir.
India usually uses Pakistani air space on all their westbound 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.
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 August.