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India formally requests Pakistan to allow PM Modi's plane to use its airspace 

File photo of PM Modi. Photograph:( Twitter )

WION New Delhi/Islamabad:  Sep 18, 2019, 02.20 PM (IST) Written By: Anas Mallick , Sidhant Sibal

India has formally requested Islamabad to permit PM Modi's plane to use Pakistan airspace during his upcoming visit to US. 

PM Modi will be in United States from September 21 to 27 for big-ticket events like 'Howdy Modi' in Houston and United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).  

New Delhi had sent the request last week. However, Pakistan is yet to respond. Pakistan has to respond before September 20. 

A rejection this time will be considered a violation of ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization charter). Under the charter, unless it's war, denying the use of airspace by singling out cannot be done by any country. 

New Delhi can take Pakistan to ICOA where the country can be slapped with a heavy fine.

Earlier this month, India had requested Islamabad to allow President Ram Nath Kovind's plane to use the Pakistani airspace during his Europe visit but it was rejected. 

While rejecting the Indian request, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had said, "Indian government had asked Pakistan to use its airspace for its president's movement. Given the current situation, we have decided not to give permission to India for this airspace usage"

India regretted Pakistan's "futile" decision of not allowing President Ram Nath Kovind's plane to use the country's airspace.

Ministry of External Affairs in a statement said, "To deny overflight clearance for the VVIP special flight which is otherwise granted routinely by any normal country. We call upon Pakistan to recognise the futility of such unilateral actions."

Last month India had requested Islamabad to grant the use of airspace for Prime minister Narendra Modi's visit to France which the country allowed despite the ongoing India-Pakistan tensions. 

This led to considerable political fallout in the country since on one hand, Imran Khan government was castigating India on its August 5 ''internal decision'' to remove a special status for the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and on the other hand allowing the use of airspace by Indian VVIPs. 

Pakistan government after a cabinet meeting had then announced that it is considering closing its airspace for India but airspace remains open and no decision has been taken regarding the matter yet.

Pakistan had closed its airspace on February 27 after India's counter-terror operation in Balakot on February 26 on the back of Pulwama attack that killed more than 40 Indian security personnel. 

The closure that lasted for more than four months had caused considerable problem globally. 

Story highlights

PM Modi will be in United States from September 21 to 27 for big-ticket events like 'Howdy Modi' in Houston and United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).