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Pakistani federal minister says PM Imran Khan is considering complete closure of Pakistani airspace to India and land routes to Afghanistan

After Balakot strikes, Pakistan had kept its airspace for several months

India’s bold move to repeal Article 370 which granted a separate status to Jammu and Kashmir state and a subsequent bill aimed to bifurcate the state into two Union Territories fell like a bombshell on Pakistan. The already strained relationship between India and Pakistan has become worse since then.

Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Fawad Hussain Chaudhry today took to Twitter to announce that Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan is considering a complete closure of Air Space to India and a complete ban on the use of Pakistan land routes for Indian trade with Afghanistan. He claims that these suggestions were brought up in a cabinet meeting headed by the PM today and the legal formalities for these decisions are under consideration.

Earlier, Pakistan trying to increase tensions over full integration of Jammu and Kashmir in India, had partially shut down its airspace for all airlines. The Pakistan airspace remained closed for several months after the Balakot strikes by India, and it was reopened only last month.

According to a NOTAM (notice to airman) issued by Pakistan on 6th August, a day after the historic decision of repealing Article 370, three segments of air routes between India and Pakistan will remain closed till September 5.

After the Balakot airstrikes where India had gone deep into Pakistan territory and flattened terror camps in Balakot with airstrikes, Pakistan had shut its airspace completely for weeks. Pakistan had in June asserted that it will open its Eastern airspace for flights to and from New Delhi only if India promises not to repeat a Balakot like operation inside Pakistan’s territory. Interestingly, while Pakistan wants India to promise that a Balakot like operation won’t be repeated, when the operation, codenamed ‘Operation Bandar’ had happened, Pakistan had lied that India had managed to hit just a few trees. It was only in July that Pakistan had re-opened its airspace for civilian flights again.

Imran Khan, who has been lately keeping busy running pillar to post trying to get India isolated globally and issuing hopeless nuclear war threats to India, has probably taken a cue from his so-called Pakistani Twitter ‘wizards’ who recently gave him a piece of strategic advice, asking him to teach Modi a lesson by ‘shutting down Indian Airspace’. However, it seems as shutting down ‘Indian Airspace’ will be beyond their capabilities, they will resort to shutting down their own airspace for Indian airlines.

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