Pakistan Responds, Says Permission For Such Flights Denied

Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman, Asim Iftikhar Ahmed | File Photo

Islamabad: Pakistan said on Thursday that it has denied an Indian airline to use its airspace for operating flights from Kashmir to the United Arab Emirates.

Pakistan on Tuesday did not allow the Srinagar-Sharjah flight of Go First, previously known as GoAir, to use its airspace, forcing it to take a longer route and fly over Gujarat to reach its destination in the UAE, according to officials in India.

The Foreign Office spokesman, Asim Iftikhar Ahmed, was asked at the weekly media briefing here on Thursday whether Foreign Office was taken on board when Pakistan permitted these (Srinagar-Sharjah) flights and when these permissions were cancelled'.

"The over-flight permission for such flights has been denied," he said, adding that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) would have technical details.

"There are various aspects to this issue and the concerned authorities are fully seized of it,'' he said.

"As a long outstanding dispute, it (Kashmir) remains on the agenda of the UN Security Council pending its resolution and final disposition in accordance with UNSC resolutions,'' he said.

To another question about the Indian Home Minister during his visit to Kashmir announcing Rs 500 billion worth of development plan, he said the reported investment and development projects were an effort by India to divert international attention from its alleged human rights violations.

When asked about the UAE's planned investment in infrastructure and other projects in Kashmir, the spokesman said, we continue to sensitise our friends and remain in touch with them .

He said that Pakistan values the significance of the Kartarpur corridor and "remain strongly committed to its functioning, and supports its early reopening. We hope India will respond positively."

The movement of pilgrims to Pakistan through the Kartarpur corridor has been suspended since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the neighbouring country banned all travel from India citing the surge in cases in April this year.

Ties between India and Pakistan nose-dived after a militant attack on the Pathankot Air Force base in 2016 by miltiant groups based in the neighbouring country. Subsequent attacks, including one on an Indian Army camp in Uri, further deteriorated the relationship.

The relationship dipped further after India's war planes carried out airstrikes at Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp deep inside Pakistan on February 26, 2019 in response to the Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed.

The relations deteriorated after India announced withdrawing special powers of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcation of the state into two union territories in August, 2019.

India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 was its internal matter. It also advised Pakistan to accept the reality and stop all anti-India propaganda. (PTI)

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