New Delhi: Hours after Pakistan turned down India’s request to allow Prime Minister Narendra Modi use its airspace to travel to Saudi Arabia, the Government of India on Sunday said it has taken up the matter with the International Civil Aviation Oraganisation (ICAO) as overflight clearances are sought and granted as per the guidelines prescribed by the ICAO.
“Overflight clearances are sought and granted by other countries as per prescribed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) guidelines and India will continue to seek such overflight clearances. We’ve taken up the matter of such denial with the civil aviation body,” government sources told ANI.
India said that it regretted the decision taken by the Government of Pakistan to yet again deny the overflight clearance for VVIP special flight which is otherwise granted routinely by any normal country.
“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,” sources said.
The development comes as Pakistan earlier in the day denied its airspace to allow PM Modi to travel to Saudi Arabia for a two-day state visit from October 29.
“Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday announced that Islamabad has denied New Delhi’s request for use of airspace for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Dawn reported.
As per media reports, India had sought Pakistan’s permission to use the country’s airspace on October 28 for Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Saudi.
However, this is not the first time that Pakistan has turned down India’s request to use its airspace. Earlier, thee country had also denied PM Modi to access its air space for his visit to the United States to attend the 74th UN General Assembly session on September 20.
Prior to this, the country had also denied President Ram Nath Kovind permission to use its airspace for his official trip to Europe.