Pakistan on Monday decided in principle to let Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aircraft fly over its airspace to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan where he has to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit on June 13-14, where his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan would also be present.
Pakistan had fully closed its airspace on February 26 after an Indian Air Force (IAF) strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camp in Balakot. Since then, it has only opened two routes, both of them pass through southern Pakistan, of the total 11.
According to reports, India had requested Pakistan to allow the use of their airspace for PM Modi’s special flight to Bishkek.
“The Indian government will be conveyed about the decision once the procedural formalities are completed. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will also be directed to notify the airmen subsequently,” an official told PTI, adding Pakistan was hopeful that India would respond to its offer for peace dialogue.
Meanwhile, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Monday reiterated that there is no meeting scheduled between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan at the upcoming SCO Summit.
Earlier on Friday, Imran Khan had written to PM Modi offering dialogue to reconcilable problems including the Kashmir issue.
He had further asserted that talks between the two nations were the only solution to help both countries’ people overcome poverty and that it was important to work together for regional development.
The SCO summit is due to be held on June 13-14 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The SCO is a China-led eight-member economic and security bloc with India and Pakistan being admitted to the grouping in 2017.
At the meet, PM Modi is most likely to raise the issue of the neighbouring nation harbouring terrorists.
Relations between Pakistan and India hit a nadir in the last five years with at least three major terror attacks on Indian military establishment and personnel of armed forces since 2016.