RAWALPINDI: Pakistan has decided not to grant India’s request for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to use its airspace for his flight to Germany in the last week of September.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in a video statement that the decision had been made keeping in view of the situation in Indian occupied Kashmir.

He said: “Keeping in view the situation in occupied Kashmir and India’s attitude witnessed in the tyranny and oppression (suffered by Kashmiris) and violations of rights in the region, we have decided not to grant this request.”

A request was received from India that Prime Minister Modi for his flight to Germany seeks to use Pakistani airspace on Sept 20 and for return flight on 28, said the foreign minister.

India has made a formal request to Pakistan to allow the use of its airspace for Indian PM Narendra Modi’s VVIP flight to Germany and back.

At the conclusion of his visit, Modi will address the United Nation General Assembly on September 27. Prime Minister Imran Khan will also address the global forum on the same day.

Earlier this month, Pakistan had refused to grant permission and clearance to Indian President Ram Nath Kovind to use its airspace during an official trip to Iceland.

Pakistan had closed its airspace in February this year after Indian Air Force jets intruded into Pakistani airspace and carried out a futile attack in Balakot. However, the airspace was reopened for commercial flights, except for New Delhi, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur, on March 27.

Pakistan fully opened its airspace on July 16, after about five months of closure.

In August this year Prime Minister Modi had used Pakistan’s air space to travel to France for an official visit.

Published in Dawn, September 19th, 2019