Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Islamabad has not yet decided to close its airspace to India, underlining that any such step would be taken after looking into each and every aspect of the move through consultation.
Talking to reporters during a visit to the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) on Wednesday, he said the issue did come up for discussions during the recent federal cabinet meeting but the final decision in this regard would be taken by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
His comments come days after Pakistan’s Science and Technology Minister Fawad Khan said that the country is considering closing its airspace for traffic from India.
“PM is considering a complete closure of airspace to India, a complete ban on use of Pakistan land routes for Indian trade to Afghanistan was also suggested in cabinet meeting, legal formalities for these decisions are under consideration… Modi has started, we’ll finish!” Khan had tweeted.
Qureshi dismissed as speculative reports suggesting that the airspace was being shut for India, the Dawn reported.
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.
Flights from across the world were either cancelled or rerouted, since the closure was announced on February 27.
India had said that 600 flights per day were impacted due to the closure of Pakistani airspace.
Meanwhile, following the abrogation of Article 370, Pakistan had earlier this month closed its airspace partially, after its decision to downgrade diplomatic relations with India.
Three out of 11 routes between India and Pakistan were closed.
As tensions once again escalated over the scrapping of Article 370, Pakistan decided to downgrade diplomatic relations with India over the Kashmir move. It expelled Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria and suspended trade with India.
In a series of retaliatory measures, Islamabad suspended the Samjhauta Express and Thar Express services operating between Pakistan and India.
It also stopped the Lahore-Delhi ‘Dosti’ bus service.
Meanwhile, India has slammed Pakistan for the unilateral decisions taken in respect to the bilateral relations and urged the neighbouring nation to “review the steps taken so that normal channels for diplomatic communications are preserved”.