Pakistan on Saturday said it denied the Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, permission to fly through its airspace due to 'ongoing grave human rights violations' in Kashmir. The decision came with tensions simmering between the arch rivals over the region.
It is the third time in recent weeks that Islamabad has refused to allow Indian leaders to use its airspace. Requests by the President, Mr. Ram Nath Kovind, and Mr. Modi were turned down last month.
'The Indian Prime Minister wanted to use our airspace but we denied permission in the perspective of black day being observed by Kashmiris today to condemn Indian occupation and ongoing grave human rights violations in Indian-occupied Kashmir,'the Pakistan foreign minister, Mr. Shah Mehmood Qureshi, said in a statement.
He said the Indian High Commissioner was being informed about the decision. Mr. Qureshi did not disclose Mr. Modi's destination but a senior Pakistani official said the Indian prime minister had sought permission to use Pakistan's airspace to travel to Saudi Arabia, where he is due to attend an investment summit.
Pakistan had closed its airspace to Indian traffic in February after a suicide bomb attack that killed dozens of Indian troops in Kashmir, ratcheted up tensions and prompted aerial dogfights. It reopened its skies for all civilian traffic in July, ending months of restrictions that had affected major international routes.