By Muhammad Luqman
Pakistan has denied Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s request to use Pakistan’s airspace, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi announced on Sunday.
According to a statement issued by the Foreign Office, Qureshi said that the decision has been taken to show solidarity on the black day being marked by Pakistan, and in light of the recent human rights violations being done by the Indian forces in occupied Kashmir.
The foreign minister added that Islamabad will be informing the Indian high commissioner of its decision through a written statement.
Qureshi did not disclose Modi’s destination but a senior Pakistani official told AFP the Indian prime minister had sought permission to use Pakistan’s airspace to travel to Saudi Arabia, where he is due to attend an investment summit.
This is the third time in recent weeks that Islamabad has refused to allow Indian leaders to use its airspace.
Earlier, Islamabad turned down PM Modi’s request to use the country’s airspace to travel to New York to attend the UN General Assembly meeting in September.
Pakistan also rejected the Indian president’s request to use the Pakistani airspace to travel to Iceland.
Meanwhile, New Delhi has approached the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) after Islamabad barred Indian premier Narendra Modi to use Pakistan’s airspace, Indian news website NDTV reported on Monday.
“Overflight clearances are sought, and granted by other countries as per prescribed ICAO guidelines and India will continue to seek such overflight clearances. Separately, we have taken up the matter of such denial with the relevant international civil aviation body,” Indian officials said.