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Pakistan considering closing airspace to India, says minister

An aerial view of the airplane hub at the airport in Karachi, Pakistan. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi Aug 27, 2019, 08.29 PM (IST)

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan is considering a complete closure of airspace to India and blocking Indian land trade to Afghanistan via Pakistan, Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry said on Twitter.

"PM is considering a complete closure of Air Space to India, a complete ban on use of Pakistan Land routes for Indian trade to Afghanistan was also suggested in cabinet meeting, legal formalities for these decisions are under consideration ... #Modi has started we'll finish!," he wrote.

Pakistan closed its airspace on February 27 following escalating tensions with India. 

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The tension between the two nuclear-armed neighbours escalated after the February 14 Pulwama terror attack and a subsequent aerial strike by India on a JeM training camp in Balakot on February 26. 

Pakistan retaliated the strike next day by unsuccessfully attempting to target Indian military installations. The JeM claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack.

However, Pakistan on March 26, 2019 fully opened its airspace, nearly a month after shutting it for commercial flights following escalating tensions with India after the Pulwama terror attack and the subsequent aerial strike by Indian jets on a training camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Balakot.

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Earlier Pakistan closed its airspace on March 27 after India's Mirage-2000 aircraft pounded Jaish-e-Mohammed(JeM) targets in Balakot in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.