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Pakistan

Web Desk
May 27, 2019

Pakistan permits Sushma Swaraj’s overflight on India’s request

Pakistan

Web Desk
Mon, May 27, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan made a ‘rare exception’ for Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to ‘fly directly through Pakistani airspace’ to attend the SCO meet in Bishkek last week, Indian media reported Monday.

Islamabad has closed its airspace for flights to and from India after the February 27 dogfight during which an Indian MiG fighter jet was shot down.

Pakistan has extended airspace restrictions until the end of May, a civil aviation official said on May 16, forcing foreign carriers to take costly detours.

“The Indian government had requested us to allow Ms. Swaraj to fly over Pakistan to avoid the longer route, and we gave them permission,” the report quoted Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Dr Mohammad Faisal as saying.

Government sources in Delhi confirmed the development, it further added.

Had Pakistan denied the permission, Swaraj’s flight would have taken nearly eight hours each way to the Kyrgyz capital.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had an informal chat with his Indian counterpart during the SCO meet in Kyrgyzstan on May 21 and 22.