Pakistan has declined Indian President Ram Nath Kovind’s request to use its airspace, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi announced on Saturday.
The foreign minister said permission was not granted in view of India’s behaviour.
President Kovind planned to go to Iceland on September 8 and an easy route to use would be through Pakistani airspace.
In June, India Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked for permission to use Pakistan’s airspace and permission was granted; however, Modi later refused to use Pakistani airspace.
On August 5, India ended the autonomous status of Muslim-majority Kashmir region, where a 30-year-old uprising against Indian occupation has killed tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians. Hours before its move, New Delhi curtailed movement and shut down phones and the internet, bringing in tens of thousands of troops to turn the main city of Srinagar into a fortress.
Several Indian and Pakistani soldiers have since been killed in skirmishes along the heavily militarised Line of Control.The specter of nuclear war haunts tensions between India and Pakistan and the disputed territory of Kashmir could “provide the spark that lights South Asia’s nuclear fuse”, a US think tank has warned in its report.
The report was published Saturday by Stratfor, a geopolitical intelligence platform based in Austin, Texas. It also disputes the classification of Kashmir issue as India’s internal affair or a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.