Pakistan has refused to open its airspace for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Saudi Arabia, after which India has appealed to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). According to government sources, all ‘normal countries’ are allowed to pass through the airspace of any country for special flights of VVIP. New Delhi is disappointed with this attitude of Islamabad, they said.
According to sources, when asked for overflight clearance, other countries give permission as per established international norms and India will continue to ask for such permission. After Pakistan’s decision not to open its airspace, India has raised the matter with the International Aviation Organisation.
Sources said Pakistan should desist from its old habit of giving idle reasons for taking this one-sided action and should give an explanation for withdrawing from the international regime.
According to reports in Pakistani media, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had sought permission to use their airspace to go to Saudi Arabia, which has been rejected.
Modi will visit Saudi Arabia on Tuesday where he will attend an international business conference.
Even earlier, Pakistan had refused to open its airspace to the Indian prime minister for his flight to the US.
President Ram Nath Kovind was not allowed by Pakistan to use their airspace to go to Europe, either.
According to international law, a country is considered to have 12 nautical miles or 22.2 km of airspace from its area and that country has complete control over its airspace. However, in case of war or other emergency, countries allow other countries to use their airspace.
After the IAF strike on Balakot in February, Pakistan closed its airspace for all Indian planes. After suffering a loss of $ 50 million — India had suffered a loss of Rs 430 crore due to the Pakistani blockade — Pakistan had to withdraw its decision after which Prime Minister Modi went through Pakistani airspace for his France tour.