- Tuesday 20 Aug 2019
Pak will not open airspace until India withdraws fighter jets from forward airbases
PTI, Jul 12, 2019, 1:21 PM IST
Islamabad: Pakistan has told India that it will not open its airspace for commercial flights until New Delhi removes its fighter jets from forward IAF airbases, Pakistan’s Aviation Secretary Shahrukh Nusrat has informed a parliamentary committee.
Pakistan fully closed its airspace on February 26 after the Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter jets struck a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist training camp in Balakot following the Pulwama terror attack in Kashmir.
Aviation Secretary Nusrat, who is also the Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), on Thursday informed the Senate Standing Committee on Aviation that his department has intimated Indian officials that Pakistani airspace would remain unavailable for use by India until the country withdraws its fighter jets from forward positions, Dawn News reported.
“The Indian government approached asking us to open the airspace. We conveyed our concerns that first India must withdraw its fighter planes placed forward,” Nusrat told the committee.
He further apprised the committee that Indian officials have contacted Pakistan requesting it to lift the airspace restrictions.
“However, Indian officials have been told that Indian airbases are still laden with fighter jets and Pakistan will not allow resumption of flight operations from India until their removal, said Nusrat.
After the restrictions, all the passenger flights are being diverted to alternative routes by India, The Express Tribune reported.
The CAA official also contested India’s claim that Delhi had opened its airspace for Pakistan, the report said.
“Pakistani flights from Thailand have not been restored since the closure of the Indian airspace. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flights for Malaysia also remain suspended,” the CAA DG informed the committee.
Last month, Pakistan gave special permission to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s VVIP flight to use its airspace for his official trip to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan.
However Prime Minister Modi’s VVIP aircraft avoided flying over Pakistan. Earlier, Pakistan had allowed India’s former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to fly directly though Pakistani airspace to participate in the meeting of SCO foreign ministers in Bishkek on May 21.
India aviation industry has suffered huge losses due to the airspace ban by Pakistan.
On Thursday, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri told Parliament that due to the closure of Pakistan airspace, Air India had to spend an extra Rs 430 crore on longer routes.
London: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under increasing pressure to recall Parliament after leaked government documents warned of widespread ....
London: An Iranian oil supertanker released from detention by Gibraltar last week has set sail with its crew, majority of them Indians, on board soon ....
Hong Kong: China lashed out at Taiwan on Monday over its offer of political asylum to participants in Hong Kong's pro-democracy protest movement, a da....
Islamabad: Pakistan on Monday summoned India's Deputy High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia for the fourth time over alleged ceasefire violations by the ....
Kabul: Afghanistan's president is vowing to eliminate all safe havens of the Islamic State group as the country marks a subdued 100th Independence Day....
Bengaluru: Former chief minister Jagadish Shettar, former deputy chief ministers KS Eshwarappa and R Ashoka, among others, are likely to take oath at ....
New Delhi: The Centre is committed to all-round development of the northeast region, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Monday. Shah, who laid t....
New Delhi: A plea was moved in the Delhi High Court on Monday alleging that former IAS officer Shah Faesal was illegally detained at the IGI Airport h....
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday said it will continue to hear on October 18 a plea challenging the new law criminalising the practice of ins....
New Delhi/ Bengaluru: The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a plea challenging the amendments to Karnataka's Right to Education rules under which....