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India Approaches International Body After Pakistan Denies Airspace Use For PM Modi's Aircraft

India Approaches International Body After Pakistan Denies Airspace Use For PM Modi's Aircraft

India had sought overflight clearance from Pakistan for the prime minister's aircraft to go to Saudi Arabia on Monday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi PTI File

India has taken up Pakistan's denial of use of its airspace to the prime minister's flight with the International Civil Aviation Organisation, government sources said on Monday ahead of Narendra Modi's visit to Saudi Arabia on a bilateral visit.

India sought overflight clearance from Pakistan for the prime minister's aircraft to go to Saudi Arabia on Monday, but Islamabad cited alleged human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir to deny the request.

Sources said the government of India is of the view Pakistan should reflect on its decision to deviate from well-established international practice, as well as reconsider its old habit of misrepresenting the reasons for taking unilateral action.

The sources added that India regrets Pakistan's decision to yet again deny overflight clearance for the VVIP special flight, granted routinely by any normal country.

In September, Pakistan denied overflight clearance to the prime minister's aircraft during his visit to the US.

India has taken up the issue of denial of overflight clearance with the relevant international civil aviation body, they said. The ICAO is a specialised UN agency.

"Overflight clearances are sought, and granted by other countries as per prescribed ICAO guidelines," said a source.

India will continue to seek such overflight clearances, he added.

On Sunday, Pakistan denied India's request to allow Modi's aircraft to move in its airspace for his visit to Saudi Arabia.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in a statement that Pakistan has decided to not allow Prime Minister Modi to use the country's airspace, state-run Radio Pakistan reported. He said the decision has been taken in context of the "black day" and in view of the alleged human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, it added.

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