Prime Minister Narendra Modi wouldn’t fly over Pakistan while travelling to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan to take part in the regional Shanghai Cooperation Council, to be held on 13 and 14 June. Confirming the news, the ministry of of external affairs said on Wednesday that Modi will fly via Oman, Iran and Central Asian countries instead.
“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,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar was quoted by news agency PTI.
Pakistan had banned its air space for Indian planes immediately after the Indian Air Force carried out air strikes deep inside Pakistan in February this year. The Indian air strikes were carried out to avenge the Pulwama terror attack that killed 49 Indian soldiers.
Several media reports said that India had requested Pakistan to let Prime Minister Modi’s aircraft fly over its airspace to Bishkek. The Pakistani government, according to PTI, had ‘approved in principle’ the Indian government’s request to let Modi’s aircraft fly over the Pakistani airspace to Bishkek.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan too will attend the SCO meet in Bishkek, but the MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar has said that no bilateral meeting has been scheduled between the Pakistani leader and PM Modi.
Pakistan had given special permission to India’s then external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to fly directly through Pakistani airspace to attend the SCO Foreign Ministers’ meet in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on May 21.