Miffed by this constant propensity of the neighbouring country to deviate from the well established international practice of allowing VVIP flights to use airspace, India has taken up Pakistan’s denial of overflight clearance to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flight with the International Civil Aviation Organisation, government sources said on Monday.
PM Modi is travelling to Saudi Arabia later in the day on a bilateral visit. India had sought overflight clearance from Pakistan for the prime minister’s aircraft to go to Saudi Arabia. But Pakistan refused to grant the clearance for the same.
Regreting Pakistan’s decision to yet again deny overflight clearance for the VVIP special flight, India has taken up the issue with the relevant international civil aviation body, sources said.
“Overflight clearances are sought, and granted by other countries as per prescribed ICAO guidelines,” said a source. India will continue to seek such overflight clearances, govt sources added.
Citing the same old rhetorics of alleged human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan on Sunday denied India’s request to allow Modi’s aircraft to move in its airspace for his visit to Saudi Arabia.
The India-Pakistan relation deteriotaed further after India’s bold decision to revoke Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, which was already low following Balakot airstrike. Following the terror camps were bombed by Indian airforce, Pakistan had kept its airspace shut for more than a month for all airlines.
In September, Pakistan had denied permission to India to use its airspace for PM Modi’s flight to the US. Then too, India had urged Pakistan to reconsider its old habit of misrepresenting the reasons for taking unilateral action but in vain. The feeble-minded country had then also refused to budge.
Similarly, Pakistani authorities had on September 7 refused to give India’s President Ram Nath Kovind permission to fly through its airspace for his scheduled foreign trip.
In response to a query on the denial of overflight clearance, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Vijay Gokhale had said: “It’s an unfortunate situation where a country denies overflight to head of state/head of govt of another country. But it’s true when there’s a normal country. Hope Pak will realise the folly of its actions.”
Meanwhile, India’ official 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.”