New Delhi: Minutes after Pakistan rejected India’s formal request to allow its air space for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flight to the United States, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that India regretted the decision of Pakistan to deny overflight clearance for the VVIP special flight for a second time in two weeks.
“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,” Raveesh Kumar said.
Kumar said 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.
The statement from the MEA comes after Pakistan Foreign Ministry said it will not allow its airspace to be used for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flight to the US.
“We have conveyed to the Indian High Commission that we will not allow our air space for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flight,” Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said.
Qureshi further said that the decision has been taken following India’s atrocities and human rights violations in Kashmir.
Earlier in the day, India had made a formal request to Pakistan asking it to allow its airspace to be used for PM Modi’s flight to the US. PM Modi is scheduled to depart for the US to participate in the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
Prior to this, Pakistan earlier this month had denied overflight clearance to President Ram Nath Kovind’s flight to Iceland.
Though Pakistan for some time has been threatening to completely close its airspace for India in the aftermath of abrogation of Article 370, no official notification in this regard has been issued yet from the country.