Pakistan says Indian President Ram Nath Kovind's plane can't enter airspace: report
Decision comes at a time of high tension between nuclear-armed neighbors over J&K
Published: September 07, 2019 15:15 Last updated: September 07, 2019 19:14PTI, AFP
President Ram Nath KovindImage Credit: PTI
NEW DELHI: Islamabad has denied President Ram Nath Kovind permission to use its airspace for flying to Iceland amid tensions with New Delhi after it scrapped Jammu and Kashmir's special status last month, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said today.
According to news agency AFP, Qureshi attributed the reason for its decision to India's "recent behaviour" on bilateral issues.
India, however, contends that its decision on Jammu and Kashmir was a strictly internal matter that Pakistan has no right to question it. Indian Ministry of External Affairs' Raveesh Kumar said: "We regret the decision of Government of Pakistan to deny overflight clearance."
Ram Nath Kovind will embark on a tri-nation trip to Iceland, Switzerland and Slovenia from Monday, during which he is expected to brief the top leadership of those countries on issues such as cross-border terrorism.
According to Qureshi, the unusual decision to deny President Kovind permission to use the country's airspace was approved by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in view of the Kashmir situation.
Pakistan had closed its airspace to Indian traffic after an aerial dogfight following the Pulwama terror attack in February ratcheted up tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi.
However, it reopened its skies in July, ending months of restrictions that affected major international air routes
Wow... just wow... after 34 days of PakKashmiris being tortured, killed and raped by GanguTerroristArmy in IoJK... GoP/SMQ got a newsbeat!
Why is our airspace still open to the rest of gangu flights? This tamasha needs to just end.
PakState cann't afford any weak politicoz at this stage in OurStruggle against FacistModiRegime.
GoP is in total paralysis. PMIK can still hop on the plane and go on whirlwind tour of the SCO, EU, AU and entire ME.... but he is heading cabinet meetings of MirJaffarz...