Pakistan has rejected India's request to allow the use of its airspace for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flight to Germany on September 20 "keeping in view the situation in Kashmir," Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in a video statement.
"A request was received from India that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wishes to go to Germany and seeks to use the airspace for an overflight on the 20th and wishes to use the same for a return flight on the 28th.
"Keeping in view the situation in Kashmir and India's attitude witnessed in the tyranny and oppression [suffered by Kashmiris] and the violations of rights in the region, we have decided not to grant this request," Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said,adding that the same has been conveyed to the Indian High Commission.
Earlier in the day, India had formally requested Pakistan to allow the use of its airspace for PM Modi's flight to Germany. Modi is scheduled to go to Germany on September 20 before heading to US to attend the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session.
This is not the first time Pakistan has refused to open its airspace for Indian politicians, citing the sitatuion in Kashmir. Recently, the country had denied permission to President Ram Nath Kovind's aircraft to fly over its airspace during an official trip to Iceland.
The ties between India and Pakistan has been hostile ever since New Delhi, in a unilateral decision, scrapped key provisions of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir and devided the state into two Union Territories. Pakistan has been opposing India's move. It country has made several efforts to internationalise the Kashmir situation but to no avail.
Pakistan had fully closed its airspace in February after an Indian Air Force strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camp in Balakot. The country opened its airspace for all flights except for New Delhi, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur on March 27.