Narendra Modi Chooses Not To Fly Over Pakistan Despite Pakistan Foreign Office Go-Ahead
After Pakistan had fully closed its airspace on February 26 due to an Indian Air Force incursion near Balakot, the government had last month allowed Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to fly over the country when she was travelling to Bishkek to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Bishkek.
The Foreign Office on Wednesday said that "it is up to India what route it decides to use" after New Delhi decided that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's plane would avoid Pakistani airspace on its way to Kyrgyzstan for a summit.
A senior Ministry of Foreign Affairs official in Islamabad had said earlier that they had received a formal request from the Indian Prime Minister to allow his aircraft to fly over Pakistan airspace to also attend the summit in Bishkek on June 13-14, and that the request was being "processed".
Check what Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal had to say in this Tweet below:
Dr Faisal's statement came hours after the Indian external affairs ministry announced that Modi would not fly through Pakistan to attend the Bishkek summit, despite the permission granted by the Pakistani government to do so.
Flying through Pakistan is the shortest route to Bishkek. Pakistan had closed its airspace on February and since then, it has only opened two of 11 routes, both through southern Pakistan, reportedly under pressure from UAE-based airlines which take these routes.