Pakistan denies Indian premier permit to use airspace


Pakistan on Sunday denied Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi permission to fly through its airspace to visit Saudi Arabia, an official said.

According to Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry, the Indian government had requested permission for Modi’s aircraft to fly through Pakistan’s airspace en route to Riyadh, the Saudi capital.

“Today is Oct. 27, a Kashmir Black Day, and we rejected the Indian government request in view of their violation of human rights and their atrocities in Indian Occupied Kashmir,” Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Pakistan’s foreign minister, said in a statement.

Qureshi added they will convey the decision to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.

The move follows similar denials last month for Modi’s trips to Iceland and Germany, but it has closer ties with Saudi Arabia.

According to Indian media, Modi will pay a two-day visit to Saudi Arabia later this month during which the two sides are expected to sign several agreements.

Tensions between the two South Asian nuclear neighbors mounted after the Indian government scrapped the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on Aug. 5.

Jammu and Kashmir has been under a near-complete lockdown since Aug. 5, when New Delhi scrapped the special status of the region, previously codified in the Indian Constitution’s Article 370, which allowed it to enact its own laws.

The provisions also protected the region’s citizenship law, which barred outsiders from settling in and owning land in the territory.

India has maintained that 93% of the restrictions have been eased in the conflict-ridden region, a claim Anadolu Agency could not independently verify.
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