Islamabad: Pakistan on Saturday said it will not allow President Ram Nath Kovind’s flight to Iceland to pass through its airspace.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the decision was approved by Prime Minister Imran Khan in response to India’s decision to revoke special status of Jammu and Kashmir, reported Dawn news.
President Ram Nath Kovind is scheduled to embark on an official nine-day visit to Iceland, Switzerland, and Slovenia from September 9.
Qureshi claimed that India had asked for air space clearance for Kovind’s September 9 flight. New Delhi is yet to make a comment on it.
Though Pakistan has been threatening to completely close its airspace for India since the latter announced its decision to abrogate Article 370, no official notification had come in this regard.
Following India’s historic decision, Islamabad has downgraded its diplomatic relations with India and partially closed its airspace.
However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month used the Pakistani airspace to travel to France for a bilateral meet.
Islamabad has shut its airspace earlier following the Indian Air Force (IAF) action on February 26. IAF planes had destroyed terror camps in Pakistan’s Balakot area, following the February 14 Pulwama terror attack which killed over 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir. On July 16, Pakistan had fully opened its airspace for all flights.