Wednesday, June 12, 2019

After PM Modi Chooses Oman Route to Bishkek, Pakistan Opens Airspace as 'Goodwill Gesture'

Islamabad: Pakistan on Wednesday said it will "specially" open its airspace for the flight of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bishkek to attend the SCO summit, even as India decided not to use the Pakistani airspace for the VVIP aircraft.

In New Delhi, the External Affairs Ministry said Prime Minister Modi's VVIP aircraft will fly over Oman, Iran and Central Asian countries to reach the Kyrgyz capital for the two-day Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit from Thursday.
Pakistan's Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said an application to seek opening of the airspace was received by the Aviation Division from the Indian High Commission on Monday.

The minister said in a statement that Prime Minister Imran Khan after holding consultations with all stakeholders directed to open the airspace for Prime Minister Modi's flight, state-run Radio Pakistan reported.

The aviation minister said the Pakistani airspace will be "specially" opened for Modi's overflight to Bishkek as a "goodwill gesture".

The airspace will be opened for a period of 72 hours during which Air India plane B 747-400 will fly to Bishkek from New Delhi on Thursday and will return the next day, the Radio Pakistan report said.

But India on Wednesday said it will not use the Pakistani airspace for Prime Minister Modi's flight to Bishkek.

"The government of India had explored two options for the route to be taken by the VVIP aircraft to Bishkek. A decision has now been taken that the VVIP aircraft will fly via Oman, Iran and Central Asian countries on the way to Bishkek," MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
12/06/19 PTI/News18.com

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