Modi not to use Pakistan’s airspace for overflight to Bishkek

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NEW DELHI: Despite the permission granted by the Pakistani government, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not fly through Pakistani airspace on his way to Bishkek, where he has to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit on June 13-14.
The Indian premier will now use a circuitous route via Oman and Iran to reach the Kyrgyzstan capital, the Indian external affairs ministry said on Wednesday.
“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 ministry said in a statement reported by Indian media.
It emerged after Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said the Pakistani airspace will be “specially” opened for Modi’s overflight to Bishkek as a “goodwill gesture”.
Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan in a statement today (Wednesday) said an application to seek opening of the airspace was received by Aviation Division from Indian High Commission on Monday.
The Minister said Prime Minister Imran Khan after holding consultation with all stakeholders directed to open the airspace.
The airspace will be opened for a period of 72 hours during which Air India plane B 747-400 will fly to Bishkek from New Delhi tomorrow and will return the next day. With the opening of airspace, the travel time for Indian flight will reduce to one and half hours.
Ghulam Sarwar Khan said it is India that is facing more loss due to closure of airspace.– Agencies

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