ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Saturday said it had denied India’s President Ram Nath Kovind permission to fly through its airspace – access to which is usually granted – due to New Delhi’s recent “behaviour”.
The decision comes at a time of high tension between the two nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours over Indian-occupied Kashmir.
“The decision has been taken in view of India’s behaviour,” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in a statement.
“The Indian president had sought permission to use Pakistan’s airspace to travel to Iceland but we decided not to permit him.”
“We have shown patience and raised the issue very cautiously but the Indian government does not change anything. It may be recalled that last month, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plane landed in France using Pakistani airspace, which was authorised by Pakistan,” Qureshi added.
Pakistan closed its airspace to Indian traffic after aerial dogfights in February ratcheted up tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi.
It reopened its skies for all civilian traffic in July, ending months of restrictions affecting major international routes.