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Imran Khan mulling full airspace closure, trade route ban for India, tweets Pakistan minister

In reference to Narendra Modi-led government's decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370, the minister said, "Modi has started we'll finish!"

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: August 27, 2019 9:17:03 pm
Pakistan mulls full airspace closure, trade route ban for India: minister Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. (The New York Times)

The Imran Khan-led Pakistan government is considering a blanket ban on the use of the country’s airspace by Indian flights, a Pakistan minister said amid escalating tension between the two nuclear-armed nations over Jammu and Kashmir.

Fawad Chaudhry, Pakistan’s Minister for Science and Technology, said his country was also considering banning India from using Pakistani land routes for Indo-Afghan trade.

In reference to Narendra Modi-led government’s decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370, the minister said, “Modi has started we’ll finish!”

“PM is considering a complete closure of Air Space to India, a complete ban on use of Pakistan Land routes for Indian trade to Afghanistan was also suggested in cabinet meeting, legal formalities for these decisions are under consideration,” Chaudhry tweeted.

Earlier this year, Pakistan had fully closed its airspace on February 26 after the Indian Air Force fighter jets struck a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist training camp in Balakot in retaliation to the Pulwama attack on February 14. Almost after five months, Pakistan opened its airspace for all civilian traffic on July 16.

Chaudhry’s statement came a day after Prime Minister Khan said that he will raise the Kashmir issue at every international forum, including at the UN General Assembly next month.

Khan’s address to the nation came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his meeting with US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in France on Monday, categorically rejected any scope for third party mediation between India and Pakistan on Kashmir.

On Monday, before his 40-minute meeting with Trump on the sidelines of the G-7 summit, Modi struck a measured and conciliatory tone about dialogue with Pakistan. He said: “All issues between India and Pakistan are bilateral in nature, that is why we don’t bother any other country regarding them. India and Pakistan were together before 1947 and I’m confident that we can discuss our problems and solve them, together.”

With PTI inputs

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