New Delhi: On his maiden visit to the island nation Sri Lanka, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has been allowed by India to use its air space today.
As per protocols, whenever the head of a state travels through the air space of any other country, that country has to be alerted and due permission needs to be taken.
Accordingly, ahead of Khan's visit to Sri Lanka, Pakistan had requested for use of air space, prior to 10 days of the travel to India. India granted the same on February 22.
However, it needs to be mentioned here that earlier, when India sought permission from Pakistan to use it airspace ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Saudi Arabia and the United States in 2019, it denied citing alleged human rights violations in Kashmir. This happened in the aftermath of the removal of special status for the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
India took up the denial of permission with an International Civil Aviation Organisation. Usually, VVIP aircraft are granted permission by countries, however, Pakistan's denial of permission to VVIP aircraft was an aberration.
Khan who is on a two day visit to the island nation will meet Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa for talks focusing on increasing trade and investment, health and education, agriculture and science and technology, defence and security, and culture and tourism, said reports.
The two countries share a warm relation and Khan's visit to the country is expected to boost its diplomatic ties with the nation.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka has cancelled a scheduled speech of Prime Minister Imran Khan in Parliament. Reports suggest this was done to avoid any clash with India as Khan may raise the Kashmir issue, which could damage Colombo's relation with New Delhi.
Another speculation that has been doing the rounds in media is that Khan may make a reference to the plight of Sri Lankan Muslims, who have been facing discrimination in the country.
However, the Sri Lankan Government cited that the speech was cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.