Pakistan has allowed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aircraft to fly over its airspace to Bishkek. The Indian PM is visiting the capital of Kyrgyzstan to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit on June 13-14. Incidentally, Narendra Modi will be attending the summit alongside his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan.
Pakistan Accept India’s Request In Principle
Ever since India’s strike on the terror camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Balakot by Indian Air Force (IAF), Pakistan had closed its airspace fully keeping only two routes open that pass over southern Pakistan. Overall 11 air routes pass through Pakistan’s sky. That is why India requested Pakistan to allow the aircraft of Mr.Modi to fly over its airspace for reaching the Kyrgyzstan capital.
While confirming the approval from the Imran Khan government an official said, “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.” The official added that Pakistan is expecting that India will respond positively to the peace dialogue offer from his country.
The official further said the Pakistan PM recently wrote a letter to Narendra Modi stressing that Pakistan is seeking a solution for all the geopolitical issues including the much-contended Kashmir. He also said that his country is still optimistic that India somehow will respond to Pakistan’s peach offer despite the fact that Modi has decided against meeting Imran Khan alongside the SCO Summit.
The neighboring country had given special permission to Sushma Swaraj, the ex-External Affairs Minister on May 21 for attending the SCO Foreign Ministers’ meet in Bishkek.
Pakistan’s Airspace Closed For Commercial Airliners
Apart from the two airspaces that pass through southern Pakistan, the country has closed airspace for commercial airliners. On May 31, the Indian Air Force (IAF) declared that all the temporary impositions on Indian airspace after the airstrike in Balakot have been pulled off. But the commercial airliners will not be able to benefit from it unless Pakistan responds to this gesture and opens its entire airspace for flying.
The international operations of Indian airlines Air India and IndiGo have been affected by the closing of airspace by Pakistan. IndiGo cannot re-start its direct flight from Delhi to Istanbul due to this closure that was started in March 2019. During the flight, it has to compulsorily stop either at Ahmedabad or in Doha, Qatar for refueling.
Also, the full-service carrier Air India cannot fly non-stop flights from Delhi to the US ever since the closure of Pakistani airspace. The neighboring country’s ban on eastern border airspace will continue until June 14.