ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has refused a request by India to allow President Ram Nath Kovind to use its airspace for his flight to Iceland, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Saturday.
Kovind will embark on a visit to Iceland, Switzerland and Slovenia from Monday during which he is expected to brief the top leadership in those countries on India’s “national concerns”, especially in view of terror incidents this year, including the Pulwama attack.
The decision was approved by Prime Minister Imran Khan in view of the tense situation in Kashmir, the minister told state broadcaster PTV.
Pakistan fully closed its airspace on February 26 after the Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter jets struck a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant training camp in Balakot following the Pulwama attack in Kashmir in which 44 CRPF personnel were killed. However, in March, it partially opened its airspace but kept its ban for the Indian flights.