Pakistan denies airspace to Indian PM amid Kashmir buildup

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi is seen exiting his plane, Air India One, at Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris, France, on August 22, 2019. (Courtesy Indian PM office)
Updated 18 September 2019

Pakistan denies airspace to Indian PM amid Kashmir buildup

  • Indian President was also denied Pakistani airspace earlier this month
  • Tensions heightened between India and Pakistan after New Delhi revoked Kashmir's special status on August, 5

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government announced on Wednesday that it had denied a request for use of its airspace for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to fly over Pakistani skies for a flight to Germany.
The request had been submitted by the Indian government last week, following six weeks of heightened tensions between Pakistan and India, following New Delhi’s move on Aug. 5 to abrogate the partial autonomy of Kashmir, a region both countries own in part but claim in full.
In a video message, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the decision had been made “keeping in view the situation in occupied Kashmir,” and called it a “violation of rights in the region.”
Earlier this month, Pakistan denied the use of its airspace to Indian President Ram Nath Kovind for his flight to Iceland, citing similar reasons.
Keeping in line with international law, such requests are usually granted.
In February this year, Pakistan closed its airspace to Indian traffic following a dogfight in the skies over Kashmir that brought the two nuclear-armed South Asian countries to the brink of war. It reopened its skies for all civilian traffic in July, ending months of restrictions that had affected major international routes and thousands of travelers. 

Shoura Council approves Saudi investment in Pakistan’s renewable energy

Updated 29 January 2020

Shoura Council approves Saudi investment in Pakistan’s renewable energy

  • Saudi Arabia announced $20 billion investment in Pakistan’s renewable energy in February 2019
  • Cooperation with Saudi with help Islamabad achieve its energy targets – AEDB chief

ISLAMABAD: The Saudi Shoura Council has approved a draft agreement between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan on renewable energy development.

“The Saudi Shoura Council approves a draft MoU between Saudi Arabia and the government of Pakistan to study investment opportunities in the refining and petrochemical sectors,” the Shoura Council said in a Twitter post on Tuesday.

“The government of Pakistan will certainly welcome the investment from international investors, including from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Dr. Rana Abdul Jabbar, chief executive of Pakistan’s Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB), told Arab News on Wednesday.

He said that renewable energy cooperation between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia was initiated in February last year when the draft memorandum was signed during the visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“The government has already signed the MoU with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the development of renewable energy power projects in Pakistan,” Jabbar said.

During the crown prince’s visit, Saudi Arabia announced a $20 billion investment package for Pakistan, which includes the development of a petrochemical complex, renewable energy projects and investment in mineral resources. 

“The government of Pakistan is proactively pursuing the promotion and development of indigenous renewable energy resources through private parties’ participation,” Jabbar said, adding that the cooperation with Saudi Arabia is going to help the Pakistani government achieve its targets of 25 percent renewable energy share in the total energy mix by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030.

The targets are set in the Alternative and Renewable Energy Policy 2019 (ARE Policy 2019).