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Pakistan denies PM Modi permission to use its airspace for flight to New York

The MEA regretted the decision of the Government of Pakistan to deny overflight clearance for the VVIP special flight for a second time in two weeks, which is otherwise granted routinely by any normal country.

SNS | New Delhi |

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been denied the permission to Pakistan’s airspace to travel to New York next week.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that his government has conveyed to the Indian High Commission that it will not allow the use of its airspace for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flight.

The Ministry of External Affairs regretted the decision of the Government of Pakistan to deny overflight clearance for the VVIP special flight for a second time in two weeks, which is otherwise granted routinely by any normal country.

Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson, Raveesh Kumar in a press briefing said that 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.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address Indian-Americans at the “Howdy, Modi!” event in Texas’ Houston on September 22.

Earlier this month, Pakistan had denied President Ram Nath Kovind the permission to use its airspace to travel to Iceland.

Pakistan’s decision comes amid heightened tensions between the two countries over the abrogation of Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Following the revocation of Article 370, Pakistan’s Science and Technology Minister Fawad Khan had earlier said that the country was considering closing its airspace for traffic from India.

However, in August, PM Modi had used the Pakistani airspace to travel to France for a bilateral meet in August, the first after the Balakot airstrikes carried out by the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Pakistan had opened its airspace for all civilian traffic on July 16 removing the ban on Indian flights that were not allowed to use a majority of its airspace since the Balakot airstrikes in February.