India approaches ICAO after Modi denied use of Pakistan’s airspace: report

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NEW DELHI: India has gone to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to challenge Pakistan;s decision to deny the use of its airspace for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s special flight, a media report said.

“Overflight clearances for VVIP special flights are granted routinely by any normal country,” NDTV quoted Indian government sources as saying.

India has regretted Islamabad’s stand.

“Overflight clearances are sought, and granted by other countries as per prescribed ICAO guidelines and India will continue to seek such overflight clearances. Separately, we have taken up the matter of such denial with the relevant international civil aviation body,” the sources said.

“Pakistan should reflect upon its decision to deviate from well-established international practice, as well as reconsider its old habit of misrepresenting the reasons for taking unilateral action.”

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told media that Islamabad had turned down New Delhi’s request for the use of its airspace for PM Modi’s flight to Saudi Arabia.

According to media reports, India had sought Pakistan’s permission to use the country’s airspace for PM Modi’s flight today to Saudi Arabia, where he will participate in an international business conference on Tuesday.

Radio Pakistan quoted the Pakistani Foreign Minister as saying that Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria would be informed about Islamabad’s decision in writing.

Pakistan had earlier denied airspace permission to PM Modi’s flight to the US for the UN General Assembly session on September 20.