New Delhi: A day after Pakistan approved ‘in principle’ to India’s request to allow Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s aircraft to fly over its airspace to Bishkek to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, an alternate route has been decided upon for the PM’s aircraft.
“The Government of India had explored two options for the route to be taken by the VVIP Aircraft to Bishkek. A decision has now been taken that the VVIP Aircraft will fly via Oman, Iran and Central Asian countries on the way to Bishkek,” read a statement.
India had earlier requested Pakistan to let Prime Minister Modi’s aircraft fly over its airspace to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan to attend the SCO summit on June 13-14. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is also attending the meeting of the regional grouping.
Pakistan had fully closed its airspace on February 26 after an Indian Air Force (IAF) strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camp in Balakot. Since then, it has only opened two routes, both of them pass through southern Pakistan, of the total 11.
The Pakistani official had confirmed that the Imran Khan government has “approved in principle the Indian government’s request to let Prime Minister Modi’s aircraft fly over the Pakistani airspace to Bishkek”.
“The Indian government will be conveyed about the decision once the procedural formalities are completed. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will also be directed to notify the airmen subsequently,” the official said, adding Pakistan was hopeful that India would respond to its offer for peace dialogue.
He said Prime Minister Khan had recently written a letter to his Indian counterpart stressing Pakistan requires a solution for all geopolitical issues including Kashmir between the two neighbouring states.
Meanwhile, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar in New Delhi earlier exclaimed that no bilateral meeting has been arranged between Prime Minister Modi and his Pakistani counterpart on the sidelines of the SCO Summit. India maintains that terror and talks cannot go together.
With PTI inputs