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Pakistan bars Modi from using airspace to respect ‘black day’

Foreign minister says relations with India reliant on Kashmir situation

SAMAA | - Posted: Oct 27, 2019 | Last Updated: 2 years ago
Posted: Oct 27, 2019 | Last Updated: 2 years ago

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photo: AFP

Pakistan has denied Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s request to use its airspace to show solidarity with Kashmir.

The decision was taken to respect the ‘black day’ being observed on Sunday against Indian atrocities in Indian-Administered Kashmir, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said.

The Foreign Office conveyed the message to the Indian High Commission and said its relations with India are dependent on how India treats Kashmiris.

PM Modi is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia to meet King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in Riyadh on October 29.

Pakistan had rejected the Indian prime minister’s request to fly over its airspace to go to Germany earlier last month. It kept the human rights violations in Kashmir and India’s attitude over Kashmir in mind and turned down India’s request.

The Indian request was in line with diplomatic norms which prohibit denial of airspace to foreign heads of state travelling on state visits. As per international law, India has the right to appeal the decision to the International Civil Aviation Organisation, which would require Pakistan to pay a hefty fine.

In September, Pakistan also declined Indian President Ram Nath Kovind’s request to use its airspace.

Qureshi had 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 have been through Pakistani airspace.

In June, PM 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On August 5, India repealed articles 35A and 370 of its constitution, revoking special status granted to Indian-Administered Kashmir and sparking a diplomatic row with Pakistan.

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