Pakistan refuses India’s request to open airspace for Narendra Modi

Mr. Modi is travelling to the US on September 21 to attend the ‘Howdy Modi’ diaspora event on September 22

Updated - September 19, 2019 12:51 am IST

Published - September 18, 2019 08:24 pm IST - Lahore

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi

Pakistan on Wednesday announced that it would not allow the use of its airspace for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flight to Germany.

The official Twitter account of the Government of Pakistan (@pid_gov) shared a short video of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi making this announcement.


“India had sent in a request to us that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi would like to go to Germany and seeks to use Pakistani airspace for an overflight on September 20 and then again on 28 on his way back. Given the situation in Occupied Kashmir and keeping in mind the Indian state’s callous attitude [towards Kashmiris], tyranny and violation of human rights, we have decided that Pakistan will not grant permission to the Indian Premier. We have conveyed our decision to the Indian High Commission,” Mr. Qureshi said in the video.

Asked for response, Raveesh Kumar, official spokesperson of the External Affairs Ministry, said, “We regret 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. 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 a unilateral action.”

Earlier, Pakistan had denied permission to President Ram Nath Kovind’s flight to Zurich.

(With inputs from Kallol Bhattacharjee)

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