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. 

Pakistanis among dead in Madinah bus accident

Updated 17 October 2019

Pakistanis among dead in Madinah bus accident

  • The crash took place when a privately chartered bus carrying 39 pilgrims collided with a loader
  • Reports indicate only four bus passengers survived the tragedy, some in critical condition

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday expressed profound grief and sorrow over the tragic road accident that claimed the lives of 35 pilgrims in Saudi Arabia.

According to media reports, the accident happened when a privately chartered bus carrying 39 passengers collided with a loader near Madinah at about 7pm on Wednesday.

Pakistan’s foreign office confirmed in a press statement that “the deceased also include a certain number of Pakistani nationals.”

“Of the four survivors,” the handout continued, “there is one Pakistani named Mr. Akbar, who is seriously injured. The Pakistan Consulate General in Jeddah has established contact with him and is in touch with the concerned Saudi authorities and staff of the King Fahad Hospital, Madinah, to ascertain details of casualties of Pakistani nationals.”

Reacting to the development, the foreign minister said his ministry was in touch with the Saudi authorities to ascertain the causes of the accident.

“Our diplomatic mission is in contact with the Saudi authorities to ensure that the injured get the best medical facilities and the bodies of the deceased are smoothly flown back to Pakistan,” Qureshi added.