Indian PM Narendra Modi flies over Pakistani airspace amid hightened tensions?
ISLAMABAD – India Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday used Pakistani airspace for the first time since both the nuclear-armed rival engaged in an aerial warfare over the disputed Kashmir region earlier this year.
The Indian premier used Pakistans airspace as he headed on a state visit to France, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain from August 22 to August 26.
The objective of Modi’s visit is to strengthen ties with time-tested friends and help explore new areas of cooperation.
Pakistan closed its airspace in February this year after Pakistan Air Force shot down Indian aircraft, a day after India claimed to have carried out a strike at Balakot area in Pakistan.
Earlier in June, Modi avoided flying over Pakistan during a trip to Central Asia, though permission in this regard was granted as a goodwill gesture.
India’s former foreign minister Sushma Swaraj had used Pakistan’s airspace when she traveled to Bishkek to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in May this year.
Modi’s flight over Pakistan comes at a time when Pakistan and India are trading barbs as New Delhi revoked the special status granted to Kashmir.