New Delhi, June 12: India's Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Wednesday clarified that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's aircraft won't use Pakistan's airspace to reach Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit. Earlier, reports suggested that PM Narendra Modi's aircraft would fly over Pakistan with special permission from Islamabad. India's decision is seen as a snub to Pakistan.
Asked about the route PM Modi would take to reach Bishkek for SCO meet that starts tomorrow, spokesman Raveesh Kumar said: "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." PM Narendra Modi, Imran Khan Meeting Will Not Take Place During SCO Summit at Bishkek, Confirms MEA.
After airstrikes by the Indian Air Force (IAF) on terror camps in Balakot, Pakistan had closed its airspace on February 26. Since then, it has only opened two routes, both of them pass through southern Pakistan, of the total 11. News agency Press Trust of India had reported that India had requested Pakistan to let PM Modi's aircraft fly over its airspace to Bishkek.
On Monday, PTI reported that Pakistan had "approved in principle" the Indian government's request to let PM Modi's aircraft fly over the Pakistani airspace. "The Indian government will be conveyed about the decision once the procedural formalities are completed. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will also be directed to notify the airmen subsequently," an unnamed official was quoted by PTI as saying.