External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar

India expresses regret after Pak denies overflight clearance to President Kovind's flight

ANI | Updated: Sep 07, 2019 22:04 IST

New Delhi [India], Sept 7 (ANI): India on Saturday expressed "regret" over Pakistan's decision to deny overflight clearance to President Ram Nath Kovind's flight, saying the permission would have been granted by "any normal country."

"We regret the decision of Government of Pakistan to deny overflight clearance for the VVIP special flight, which is otherwise granted routinely by any normal country," said Ministry of External spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.

Kovind is scheduled to embark on an official nine-day visit to Iceland, Switzerland, and Slovenia from September 9.
Early in the day, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that his country has denied permission to allow Kovind's flight to Iceland to pass through its airspace.

Qureshi said that the decision was approved by Prime Minister Imran Khan in response to India's decision to revoke special status of Jammu and Kashmir, reported Dawn.

Though Pakistan has been threatening to completely close its airspace for India since the latter announced its decision to abrogate Article 370, no official notification has been issued so far in this regard.

Following India's historic decision, Islamabad has downgraded its diplomatic relations with India and partially closed its airspace.

However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month used the Pakistani airspace to travel to France for a bilateral meet.

Islamabad had shut its airspace earlier too following the IAF's action on February 26. IAF planes had destroyed terror camps in Pakistan's Balakot area, following the February 14 Pulwama terror attack which killed over 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir. On July 16, Pakistan had fully opened its airspace for all flights. (ANI)