Hours after Pakistan on Wednesday rejected India’s request to allow Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s special plane to use its airspace for his visit to the US via Germany, citing “the current situation in Kashmir”, India expressed “regret” over Islamabad’s decision and said it should “reconsider its old habit” of misrepresenting the reasons for taking unilateral action.
In a video message, Pakistan’s Foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said, “India had requested Pakistan to allow Modi to use its airspace to travel to Germany on the 21st (Sept) and return on 28th (Sept). In the light of the current situation in Kashmir, India’s attitude and atrocities there, we have decided to not allow our airspace for the flight of the Indian Prime Minister.”
Qureshi said the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad had been informed of Pakistan’s decision to not allow Air India One to fly over the country.
In response, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar 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 unilateral action.”
Modi is travelling to the US on September 21 to attend the ‘Howdy Modi’ diaspora event on September 22 along with US President Donald Trump. He will also address the UN General Assembly in New York on September 27.