The United Nations’ aviation agency has asked Pakistan for more information about an overflight request from India, it said on Tuesday, after Islamabad denied permission to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to cross its airspace on an overseas tour.
Tension has flared between the neighbours over the disputed Kashmir after India stripped the Himalayan region of its autonomy and severed telecoms links for months, with flights over Pakistan becoming the latest sticking-point in relations.
Modi, who flew to Saudi Arabia on Monday for an investors’ summit, took a circuitous route because of Pakistan’s refusal, an Indian foreign ministry source said.
India had taken up the issue with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the official added. “It is a standard thing we do, we seek permission from the countries on the route,” said the official, who sought anonymity because of the sensitive diplomatic situation. “It was done in this case too, and it was refused.” Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, said Modi was being blocked because of his government’s repression in the Muslim-majority territory of Kashmir. (RTRS)