NEW DELHI: Following Pakistan’s refusal to allow Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to use its airspace, India has taken the matter to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and lodged a complain.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi announced on Sunday that Pakistan denied India’s request to let Modi use Pakistan’s airspace. “Keeping in view the situation in Indian 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,” Qureshi said.
New Delhi had sought Pakistan’s permission to use its airspace today, October 28, for the Indian PM, who will be visiting Saudi Arabia to participate in an international business conference on October 29.
Times of India quoted Indian government sources that India has lodged a complaint against Pakistan with ICAO as the government regrets Pakistan’s decision to yet again deny the overflight clearance for VVIP special flight, which is otherwise granted routinely by any normal country. “Pakistan should reflect upon its decision to deviate from well established international practice, as well as reconsider its old habit of misrepresenting the reasons for taking unilateral action,” Indian govt sources added.
“Overflight clearances are sought and granted by other countries as per the prescribed guidelines of the ICAO. India will continue to seek such overflight clearances. We have taken up the matter of such denial with the civil aviation body,” the sources said.
Tensions between both the neighboring countries have soared since August 5 when the Indian government revoked the special status granted to Indian-occupied Kashmir. In September, Pakistan had denied another request by the neighbor to use its airspace.