New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi who will be flying to Bishkek for attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit this week will not be flying over Pakistan. As stated by an official spokesperson, the Pm will be taking an alternate route to fly to Bishkek. Other than the Pakistan airspace, there is an alternate air route through Oman, Iran, and Central Asian countries and the PM has opted for the latter.
The official spokesperson says, “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.”
The spokesperson said this while replying the media queries on the route to be taken by the prime minister’s special aircraft.
On India’s request, Pakistan had approved the route and allows Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aircraft to fly over its airspace. Earlier, India had requested the neighbour nation to use its airspace to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan. The SCO summit is scheduled to be held on June 13-14.
As stated by a Pakistan official the Imran Khan government had “approved in principle the Indian government’s request to let Prime Minister Modi’s aircraft fly over the Pakistani airspace to Bishkek”.
Notably, the Pakistan airspace was fully blocked on February 26 following the Indian Air Force (IAF) strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camp in Balakot. The country had kept only two of its routes open since then and both of these routes pass through southern Pakistan.
Before this, another special permission to use the Pakistan airspace was given to the then external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj while she was flying to attend the SCO Foreign Ministers’ meet in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on May 21.
Although there have been efforts from Pakistan towards a reconciliation, India has made it clear that terror and talk cannot go together.